New report released to tackle rising suicide rates in secondary schools

New report released to tackle rising suicide rates in secondary schools

A comprehensive report has been issued to more than 4000 public and private secondary schools across the UK, following the NASUWT call for suicide prevention support earlier this week, to inform of vital changes needed to policies around suicide prevention in schools.

The report, released this week by The National Centre for Suicide Prevention Education and Training CIC (NCSPET) gives guidance on what to do, not only to prevent suicide within schools, but also the protocol to follow if an incident does occur.

Research by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention shows the shocking statistic that suicide is the second leading cause of death within the youth population, with Samaritans reporting that approximately 200 young individuals died by suicide last year in the UK.

The report details how understanding suicide thoughts is complex, and are rarely attributed to a single cause. Lack of available support, feelings of loneliness and isolation, and general stigma around the topic of suicide can all be seen as a possible contribution to these tragic circumstances.

Fiona Aldred, Chief Executive of NCSPET comments:

“It’s not surprising that most schools often think about suicide prevention in response to a significant event. Despite school being where our young people spend a significant amount of their time, it’s clear that there is still difficulty for staff and pupils around addressing suicide in a confident way.

“Through our Schools Approach Report, we are encouraging schools to have a proactive approach to suicide prevention, helping them to create an environment of openness, with reduced stigma, supporting people to seek the help they need, when they need it.

“This report has been developed with these needs in mind, to make sure that schools incorporate suicide prevention into their mental health and wellbeing policy, as well as exploring how a collaboration between students, staff, parents and the wider community canhelp set up an effective protocol.

“I’m extremely proud of the report, and hope to see this reach all schools and youth-based organisations in the UK. Suicide prevention in schools isn’t just about saving lives; it’s about nurturing hope, resilience, and a culture of support where every student feels valued and empowered to seek help when needed.”

The Schools Approach report has been developed by a team of professionals working in the field of suicide prevention and education. This report has been advised through feedback from schools and those working within the education sector to ensure it is best catered to the current needs which schools face.

Ian Tomlinson, Training and Development Manager for Shine Lincolnshire, and Associate Tutor for NCSPET, who is directly involved in suicide prevention training for those working with young people, also comments:

“Working with and delivering Suicide First Aid training to the wider group of professionals that support the young people of our county has highlighted the need for a coordinated approach to suicide prevention. Professionals are at capacity and beyond to meet the demand for support.

“Everyone feels there is a need to educate young people, parents/guardians and carers and to facilitate addressing the stigma associated with mental ill health and also suicide. Having a whole school policy is the foundation that supports school practice.

“It will be exciting to see how this can facilitate positive conversations around mental health and lead to earlier health intervention. A conversation can save a life”

Download the Schools Approach Report HERE


About the National Centre for Suicide Prevention Education and Training CIC

The National Centre for Suicide Prevention Education and Training CIC (NCSPET) is an award-winning community interest company specialising in providing suicide prevention training and guidance to organisations and community members in order to meet the goal of a suicide-free society. NCSPET has worked with the NHS, Unison, NatWest and multiple local authorities across the UK.