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.

Policy

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.

StageWhoDescription

1

Staff

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.

2

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).

3

Security Services Unit

Notifies the Regional Emergency Management Coordinator.

4

Regional Emergency Management Coordinator

Ensures:

  • 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.

5

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.

Privacy

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