Responding to Self-Harm and/or Suicidality

Schools play a vital role in supporting the wellbeing and mental health of all students. Schools may often be the first to respond to students presenting with concerns of self-harm and/or suicidality.

A flowchart has been designed to assist member schools in the process of supporting a student who presents with concerns of self-harm and/or suicidality, guiding schools through specific steps to address safety and provide immediate support to the student through three main stages:

In each of the stages, the terminology used in the flowchart is defined; the roles, training and responsibilities of staff are outlined, and the links to resources to support each step are provided.

When responding to student concerns for mental health or risk of harm the flowchart is to be referred to in conjunction with a school’s policies and procedures. This process will be adapted to meet the individual needs and circumstances surrounding the student and relevant to a school’s context.

It is important to remember that teachers are not expected to be mental health specialists. Rather, teachers possess skills, training and knowledge that enable them to effectively promote mental health and wellbeing, identify potential difficulties and seek appropriate support.

Schools are encouraged to contact AISNSW Student Services on (02) 9299 2845 for additional support or further information.