Coordinated response to youth suicide in Tasmanian schools

Tasmanian secondary schools will be better prepared in the aftermath of a suicide, after a formal commitment to work in collaboration with headspace School Support, was signed by the State Departments of education and health.

headspace School Support is a world first, evidence-based program designed to support Australian secondary schools affected by suicide.

Today, headspace CEO Chris Tanti, met with Minster for Health Michelle O'Byrne and Minister for Education Nick McKim, at headspace Hobart to hand over a signed letter of intent between the three parties.

Mr Tanti said while headspace is working with all states to come to similar agreements, Tasmania is the first to have both Departments make this formal commitment with headspace.

Chris Tanti said the partnership is a significant milestone in facilitating systematic change in schools when it comes to responding to a suicide of a student.

"The partnership will help to break down the silos that can exist between the health and education sectors to ensure schools are best prepared to respond to a suicide related crisis," Mr Tanti said.

"The trauma and impact of a suicide is huge. Having a plan in place can help minimise further tragedies by providing the right information and support, at the right time, to students, teachers and parents."

Mr Tanti said the partnership will help improve communication and strengthen relationships to ensure a collaborative approach to the support delivered across all areas of the school community.

"The aim of headspace School Support is to reduce the impact experienced by young people and other members of the school community, both in the short and long term," Mr Tanti said.

"School Support is designed to complement existing programs that already within system and build on current capacity and skills of school staff."

"The partnership will ensure our skills and resources are adding as much value as possible to deliver the best outcomes for schools and the entire community."

"I'd like to congratulate the Tasmanian Departments on their leadership and dedication to the welfare of students and teachers. We're looking forward to embarking on this working relationship."

headspace School Support provides information, guidance and direct support to schools affected by suicide or concerned about student suicide risk. This includes:

General assessment, assistance and advice regarding suicide and suicide risk.
Assessment of needs to determine exactly what support the schools require.
Education, training and information sessions for students, school staff and parents.
Consultation regarding students that may be at risk of suicidal behaviour.
Involvement in meetings with schools, other organisations and local community networks to provide guidance and advice.
For more information on headspace School Support visit


headspace media contact:
Carly Wright
0413 025 385