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Student Suicide and School Crisis Management

Schools should take precautionary measures and have an effective mechanism in place to handle crises. Student suicide could be the trigger of a school crisis.

 

Student Suicide

Suicide is a complex behaviour with no single cause but results from a complicated interaction of biological, psychological and environmental factors. Often, suicidal behaviours are triggered by certain very stressful life events and happen with warning signs. For suicide prevention, we should aim at early detection and intervention so that warning signs can be timely identified, risk factors mitigated and protective factors effectively enhanced.

 

EDB has published an eBook on Student Suicide for Schools: Early Detection, Intervention & Postvention (EDIP) in 2011.  It covers prevention (focusing on awareness of facts and early detection), intervention (focusing on tiered support strategies) and postvention (focusing on re-entry and aftermath support for survivors). Its appendices provide access to various resources such as strategies, guidelines, tables, checklists and activities for reference and unlimited usage or reproduction by schools. The EDIP eBook can be downloaded from this link:

http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/student-parents/crisis-management/about-crisis-management/EDIP-e.pdf

 

School Crisis Management 

Crises often occur suddenly, disrupting one’s usual coping mechanism. A crisis could be triggered by events such as the suicide or accidental death and critical injury of a student or staff, as well as violent incidents, natural disasters, etc. Often, it will upset a school’s equilibrium and may trigger emotions in students, parents and school personnel.  The Handbook on School Crisis Management : Intervention and Psychological Support in the Aftermath of Crises aims at supporting schools to provide appropriate intervention and support services to affected teachers and students during the aftermath of crises. The Handbook introduces the basic principles and operational procedures of crisis intervention and psychological support, provides a framework, roles and functions of the School Crisis Management Team as well as appendices containing checklists, samples of press release and parent letter, reference materials, etc. The Handbook can be downloaded from this link:

http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/student-parents/crisis-management/about-crisis-management/crisise.pdf

 

Managing Traumatic Incidents

To help parents to support their children with special educational needs to handle their sadness and anxiety/confusion when they encountered the death of relatives and friends, the Education Bureau has published a video newsletter.  You may view the video clip from this link :

http://edb.gov.hk/tc/edu-system/special/overview/newsletter/index.html (Chinese only)

 

Supporting Students with Mental Health Problems

Students with mental health problems need treatment by medical professionals such as psychiatrists, clinical psychologists or follow up by medical social workers. Schools play a complementary role in supporting these students at school. Important points to note for schools’ reference when planning and implementing support measures can be downloaded from this link:

http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/student-parents/crisis-management/about-crisis-management/mentalhealthproblems-e.pdf

  

Other useful information for supporting students with mental health problems can be downloaded from these links:

Hospital Authority: Kwai Chung Hospital - Mental Health Education:

http://www.ha.org.hk/kch/eng/education/edu-index.html

 

Hospital Authority: Early Assessment Service for Young People with Early Psychosis (E.A.S.Y.) Programme:

http://www3.ha.org.hk/easy/eng/index.html

 

Hospital Authority: Contact Numbers of E.A.S.Y. Service Centres:

http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/student-parents/crisis-management/about-crisis-management/EASY Centres-e.pdf

 

Helpline and Community Resources

Helpline and resources offered by the government and non-governmental organisations for the public can be found at this link:

http://www.edb.gov.hk/en/student-parents/crisis-management/helpline-community-resources/index.html

 

Other useful information on student suicide prevention can be found from these links:

The Hong Kong Jockey Club

    *  Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention (CSRP)

   *  We Care Chinese only

 

Final Report of "The Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides"

The Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides (the Committee) had completed and submitted the final report to the Secretary for Education on 7 November 2016.

 

The report has further provided the analysis of the local fatal student suicide cases and the various recommendations put up by the members of the Committee and working groups on the “Universal”, "Selective” and “Indicated” levels of support.

 

Final Report pdf

Last revision date: 12 January 2017
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