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.
Detect and support students with suicidal behaviours
Suicide is a complex phenomenon with no single cause but results from the interaction of individual factors (e.g. mental health, personal experiences), interpersonal relationships (e.g. families, peers), community (e.g. discrimination, living environment), the larger society (e.g. media, stigma of help-seeking) and the health system. To prevent student suicide, we should aim at early detection and timely intervention, and promote concerted effort to foster a sense of connectedness in schools. For more information and resources on preventing student suicide, please visit the following link:
To help school personnel to understand student suicide and the support strategies, the EDB published “An eBook on Student Suicide for Schools: Early Detection, Intervention & Postvention (EDIP)” in 2011. With reference to the local and global studies on the suicide issues, as well as the frontline experiences of the educational psychologists, we updated the content of EDIP to “A Resource Handbook for Schools: Detecting, Supporting and Making Referral for Students with Suicidal Behaviours”. This Handbook is designed to facilitate schools to adopt three-tier support model for prevention and handling of student suicide problem. It introduces suicidal risk and protective factors as well as warning signs. It also shares knowledge and skills in early detection of students at risk, and practical tips for responding to students’ suicidal behaviours. This Handbook can be downloaded from the following link:
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：
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 :
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. Schools may refer to the guideline entitled “How Schools can Help Students with Mental Health Problems” for important points to note when planning and implementing support measures. It can be downloaded from this link:
The “Teacher's Resource Handbook on Understanding and Supporting Students with Mental Illness” introduces the basic knowledge, teaching principles and management strategies for various mental illnesses in children and adolescent with a view to increasing teachers' understanding and awareness of students with mental illness so as to early identify those in need and provide appropriate support and guidance. The handbook can be downloaded from this this link:
Other useful information for supporting students with mental health problems can be downloaded from these links:
Hospital Authority: Kwai Chung Hospital - Mental Health Education:
Hospital Authority: Early Assessment Service for Young People with Early Psychosis (E.A.S.Y.) Programme:
Hospital Authority: Contact Numbers of E.A.S.Y. Service Centres:
Other useful information on student suicide prevention can be found from these links:
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
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.