Short-term response

While distress can still be part of the experience at school, your focus will turn to restoring the school to its regular routine and monitoring the wellbeing of students and staff.

This is also a good time to identify young people at immediate risk, provide support and appropriate referral to those who require it, and to consider staff support needs.

These are the key actions that schools can take in the short term following a suicide:

  • Restore  the school to its regular routine.
  • Plan the school’s involvement in the funeral.
  • Continue to identify, monitor, support and assess young people at risk. Develop support plans for impacted and high-risk young people. If necessary, refer them for further mental health support.
  • Monitor any memorial sites and communicate with young people about any required changes to processes or activities. For offsite memorials, liaise with the police if you have concerns.
  • Organise regular staff meetings. Communicate updated information and provide a space for concerns or questions.
  • Ensure staff have support within the school, and access to external professional advice where required.
  • Keep families informed about supports offered at school, changes in routines or activities and supportive resources.
  • Collect all the belongings of the deceased student for the police and family.
  • Continue to monitor staff and young people’s wellbeing and review your list of at-risk students.
  • Consider the impact of the suicide on the planning for school events like yearbook photographs, award nights, graduation and reports.
  • Conduct a critical incident review.
  • Consider facilitating an information session for families.
  • Continue to document all the school’s postvention activities and actions.