The Role of schools in suicide prevention in adolescents

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Mulligan, Kay
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BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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This research examined how schools address the increasing problem of suicide in adolescents. The most important aspect of any suicide prevention programme is the early recognition of the 'at risk' signs evident before a young person completes a suicide. Results demonstrate that the forum of the classroom is not being utilised sufficiently to deliver the message, to young people, that suicide is final. Ten school counsellors were interviewed to ascertain what factors are hindering schools adopting a successful suicide prevention strategy as part of the school curriculum. Recommendations call for all schools to fully introduce the SPHE and CPSE programmes (devised by the Department of Education and Science) to the curriculum; giving them as much priority as other academic subjects. More specialised training to be availed of by school staff to educate them to the warning signs of when a young person is at risk of suicide.