New Study Published to Address Suicide Rates in UK Secondary Schools

Over 4000 state and independent secondary schools throughout the UK have received a detailed report, following a call from the NASUWT for enhanced suicide prevention measures, outlining crucial amendments necessary for school suicide prevention policies.

This important study, distributed by The National Centre for Suicide Prevention Education and Training CIC (NCSPET), offers essential advice on preventing suicides within educational institutions and the steps to follow should such a tragic event occur.

Data from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the alarming fact that suicide ranks as the second primary cause of death among young people. The Samaritans have disclosed that last year, around 200 youths in the UK succumbed to suicide.

The study explains that the reasons behind suicidal thoughts are multifaceted and cannot be linked to a sole cause. A lack of accessible support, feelings of isolation, and societal stigma surrounding suicide discussions are all contributing factors to these unfortunate incidents.

Fiona Aldred, NCSPET’s Chief Executive, states:

“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 can help 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 study, crafted by experts in suicide prevention and education, was informed by insights from educational institutions and industry professionals to ensure it meets the current challenges faced by schools.

Ian Tomlinson, Shine Lincolnshire’s Training and Development Manager and NCSPET’s Associate Tutor, involved in suicide prevention training for youth workers, adds:

“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”

Access the Schools Approach Study here: