Suicide was the leading cause of death for males and females aged between 5 to 34 in 2019 (ONSData).
The SCC Public Health team are providing the tools to help you develop both a prevention plan and a response plan in your setting. This will help youto:
- minimise the risk of a child taking their own life in and,
be prepared, if it were to happen.
Having to deal with a death of a pupil will always be a challenging situation for both a school and the local community. If the death is by suicide, it is even more tragic and responding will put significant demands for your settings’ leadership team.
Having a plan in place to respond is important so that your school can communicate clearly and respectfully and support pupils, staff and parents/carers.
It is easy to assume that secondary school pupils are those at greatest risk, however, suicides can sadly happen in primary school settings too.
Staff working in educational settings can also be at risk.
To support schools, as you strive to be prepared, Suffolk County Council’s Public Health and Communities team are keen to provide the tools to help you develop an individualised response plan, so that if you are faced with a instance of a child or member of staff taking their own life, the school has a plan of how to respond.
- Managing and relaying the news
- Handling the Media
- Contacting the school community
- Identifying and supporting vulnerable young people
- Starting difficult conversations
- Managing Memorials
Attached is a template document (taken from Samaritans.Org), (who also provide other resources for schools on their website. There are alternative resources available at Papyrus UK Suicide Prevention | Prevention of Young Suicide (papyrus-uk.org) and Helpful Downloads | The OLLIE Foundation
It is helpful to also consider how you can reduce the risk of these tragic situations happening in your setting. Two ways are by developing a suicide prevention policy for your setting and to train staff.
To support you in this, attached is a template policy that you are able to adapt for your own situation and settings.
There are also various Suicide first Aid training options to support your school staff.
- a locally produced short video to increase awareness, (4mins)
- Free entry level training provided by the Zero Suicide Alliance (20 mins)
- Free Health Education England training for those in more specialist roles (available to all)
- For Mental Health Leads we would recommend a one or two day course. https://www.ncspt.org.uk or Suicide Prevention Training & Courses – Training for Life
Other resources are available on the Healthy Suffolk website and the free Suffolk Schools RSHE School Portal provided by our Schools Engagement Manager, Jane Stannard Also attached is a ‘What can I do in my setting’ Plan-on-a-page ‘