Responding to the suicide of a student: a guide to assist secondary schools
Responding to the suicide of a student: a guide to assist secondary schools (the Guide) has been developed in partnership with headspace. It was written for schools with secondary school students. The content may not be appropriate for younger students.
If you are in a primary school setting, please be aware that younger children engaging in self-harming or suicidal behaviours may well be experiencing multiple complexities including exposure to adversities or trauma. Responses to this behaviour need to be informed by evidence and schools should seek support from their Student Support Services (SSS) key contact or another mental health professional and report the incident to ISOC. Parents/carers should also be informed.
Specialist schools are encouraged to seek additional support and guidance from SSS.
The Guide consists of the following sections:
- When to use this Guide
- Suicide related terminology
- Understanding suicide
- Self-care for school staff following the suicide or suspected suicide of a student
- Mental health and wellbeing following exposure to a suicide
- Immediate response (24 hours to 48 hours)
- Nuanced postvention responses
- Short-term response (1 week to 3 months)
- Longer-term response (3 months to 12 months)
- Glossary of key Department terms
Reviewed 14 October 2021