Responding to student suicide in ways that reduce risk, promote healing: Opinion

October 17, 2019

“Universities face multiple challenges in establishing practices for mental health referrals, suicide prevention and intervention and knowing how to respond after a suicide to reduce risk and promote healing,” writes Debbie Bruckner, Andrew Szeto, and Susan Barker. Given these challenges, the authors suggest six considerations for institutional responses to student suicides: when consulting with the student’s family, prioritize listening to their needs and wishes; identify affected communities and establish an outreach response; remain flexible in relation to all affected parties’ arising needs; be sensitive to cultural differences; consider creating a forum to honour students rather than a memorial; respect the family’s wishes in relation to public communications; and ensure that supports are in place for staff spearheading response efforts. The Conversation (National)