Suicide Prevention

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To reduce the incidence of suicide among students.


Schools must ensure:

  • policies and procedures are in place for managing emergencies that threaten the physical and psychological safety of students
  • staff are trained to:
    • treat all disclosures of intent to self-harm or suicidal thoughts seriously
    • follow procedures to respond to disclosures of self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

Suicide prevention

Local and international research indicates:

  • the combination of risk factors that lead to suicide are not predictable
  • population based preventative approaches to build resilience in young people are more effective means of suicide prevention than intervention based processes. 
  • schools should not employ a narrow approach that focuses only on suicide.   

To aid suicide prevention, school curriculums should:

  • allow students to develop strong communication and problem solving skills
  • incorporate practical training in how to access medical and professional services through:
    • networking with other professionals and the local community
    • developing a health-promoting framework
  • not include suicide specific content.

For school resources, including guidelines and preventative strategies, see: Student Mental Health and Suicide Response/Planning

Critical incidents

This table describes how to manage critical incidents.




Advise the principal promptly when they believe a:

  • student’s safety is compromised
  • student discloses intent to self-harm or suicidal thoughts  and refer the student immediately to student support services officers.

Note: If the teacher cannot leave the student to advise the principal they should tell someone else to take a message immediately to the principal.



Manages the process of referral.

In the case of critical incidents (such as sexual assaults and serious physical assaults) promptly notifies the Security Services Unit (phone 9589-6266).


Security Services Unit

Notifies the Regional Emergency Management Coordinator.


Regional Emergency Management Coordinator


  • response is timely
  • supports are put in place to minimise the impact on the wellbeing of students involved in the incident
  • the Student Critical Incident Advisory Unit is contacted, if required, for advice and support in relation to sexual and physical assaults.


Critical Incident Unit

In relation to sexual assaults, sexualised behaviour and child exploitation (including internet based abuse):

  • provides advice and support to principals and regional personnel
  • onitors progress and management of the incident.


Legislation prohibits disclosure of a person’s health information to anyone other than the person themselves, for any reason other the one for which it was collected. Exceptions are listed in the act and include:

  • the person consents to the disclosure
  • disclosure can lesson or prevent a serious threat to a person or the public’s health, safety or welfare
  • disclosure is required by law or law enforcement and does not breach confidence.

See: Privacy

Related policies