Suicide Prevention

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 specific content related to suicide method as this can increase risk of suicide contagion.

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 and school wellbeing leader 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 or delegate

Manages the process of referral.

In the case of critical incidents (such as serious injury or death) promptly notifies the Security Services Unit (phone 9589-6266). For a list of reportable incidents, see: Reporting emergency and incidents

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 and staff involved in the incident
  • the Student Incident and Recovery Unit is contacted, if required, for advice and support in relation to critical incidents, such as death, traumatic events, sexual and physical assaults.

5

Student Incident and Recovery Unit

In relation to criticial incidents, such as death, potentially traumatic events, sexual assaults, sexualised behaviour and child exploitation (including internet based abuse):

  • provides advice and support to principals and regional personnel.

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 Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 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

Department resource