Background and Aims

Hampshire County Council have developed a protocol to help schools and colleges in Hampshire identify and support students who may be at risk of suicide, whilst promoting the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people living. The protocol also helps schools and colleges prepare if one of their students is suspected of dying by suicide and how best to respond, including supporting workplaces and communities affected.

The protocol was supported and informed by Papyrus’ “Building Suicide-Safer Schools and Colleges” guide and the Samaritans’ “Step by Step”.

This work forms part of the delivery of the Suicide Prevention Plan for Hampshire and has been developed with the support of key agencies including the Samaritans, Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services, Hampshire Constabulary, Southdowns College in Havant, Simon Says, and Winchester University.

Other teams within Hampshire County Council also contributing, including the Educational Psychology Service, Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service, Personal Development and Learning, and Communications Teams.

Solution

The objectives of the protocol are:

  • Help prevent suicides in schools or colleges.
  • To signpost to relevant training and support services.
  • To provide guidance on developing a plan when there has been a (suspected) suicide (postvention), in the case of a student (or former student) at the school/college (although this protocol also contains useful information in the case of a death of an adult).
  • To provide guidance on developing a plan in advance of an event taking place.
  • To enable agencies/organisations working to reduce suicides in Hampshire the opportunity to reduce the possibility of any “clustering” of suicide incidences
  • To provide details of support available following a suicide/suspected suicide.
  • To enable agencies/organisations working to reduce suicides in Hampshire the opportunity to learn from events leading to the suicide/suspected suicide.

Outcomes

The development of the protocol as a result of multi-agency working supports the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people, recognising those at risk, and assists in the planning of community support if a young person dies by suicide.

Additional Information

For more information, see Hampshire County Council’s suicide prevention and postvention protocol.

Read more about Hampshire’s multi-agency suicide prevention strategy.

If you would like to be put in touch with someone to discuss this case study further please e-mail: Contactus@zerosuicidealliance.nhs.uk

The aim of the ZSA Case Studies is to introduce users to a range of examples of new and innovative practice, with the broad aim of working to support people with their mental health, bring awareness to and help prevent incidence of suicide. Please seek further information by contacting the ZSA and appropriate professional input prior to making a decision over its use.

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Content last updated: 19/01/2021

If you have an example of innovative work and / or good practice that you would like to share with us, please e-mail: Contactus@zerosuicidealliance.nhs.uk