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Suicide Support Program Aimed at Schools

| The Adovcate | June 13, 2013, midnight

A NEW program has been launched to give additional support to schools that may be affected by youth suicide.

Minister for Education and Skills Nick McKim introduced Headspace School Support in Tasmania yesterday.

Mr McKim said that the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education and the national youth mental health foundation, Headspace had signed a formal agreement to work together and provide a co-ordinated response to issues around youth suicide in schools.

‘‘Research shows that when interventions to support and assist (those) affected by suicide have been well thought out and implemented the impact of grief and trauma can be reduced and the period of recovery shortened,’’ Mr McKim said.

‘‘Headspace School Support in Tasmania will ensure consistent, appropriate and evidence-based responses to youth suicide in Tasmania through training for teachers, dissemination of school support resources and active management with key staff involved in critical incident and emergency response.’’

Teachers, school counsellors and sports coaches have all been identified as well placed to identify potential risk and warning signs of suicide, recognising the work that occurs in schools as vitally important.

‘‘Many Tasmanian schools are already involved in prevention initiatives,’’ Mr McKim said. 

 ‘‘Including working with Headspace, and our school psychologists and social workers work extensively with students who need support.

‘‘The new agreement will enhance the resources and support already available to students.

■ If you are struggling and need to talk to someone, call Lifeline, a 24-hour, confidential crisis support telephone hotline on 13 11 14.

Courtesy of The Adovcate

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