Universities will be better equipped to intervene early to help prevent the devastating impact of suicide in their communities thanks to a framework released today by Universities Australia and Suicide Prevention Australia.
Suicide Prevention: A Competency Framework for Universities offers a structure which enables early intervention for staff who may be experiencing suicidal behaviour, staff or students with a lived experience of suicidal behaviour, and people studying who may experience struggles or factors that cause significant distress.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said the framework considered the roles university staff and students play in responding to the complex risk factors found in universities.
“We know the devastating impact of suicide on university communities is immediate, traumatic and far-reaching,” Ms Jackson said.
“And as many return to campus after a period of much uncertainty and disruption, universities well understand their responsibility to the health, safety and wellbeing of the 1.5 million students they educate, as well as their 100,000 staff.”
“We’re encouraging universities to weave this framework into their existing policies and practices as a crucial step in striving to ensure that every person who needs support can access a consistent, high-quality and safe standard of care.”
This framework builds on the longstanding work of universities to support the positive mental health of their communities, and complements existing partnerships between universities and organisations such as Orygen, headspace and Everymind.
Suicide Prevention Australia CEO, Nieves Murray, said: “We all have a role to play in suicide prevention. Partnerships like this have the capacity to build robust solutions that can make a real difference to the lives of many people.
“Importantly, this approach takes into consideration the roles of non-clinical university staff and students in responding to the diverse and complex risk factors found in universities.”
“Recognising the early warning signs and then responding appropriately is a critical part of suicide prevention. It is our hope that with this framework, we can encourage more universities to facilitate these conversations, reduce the stigma, and ultimately work to reduce deaths by suicide. We can never underestimate the impact that every life lost to suicide has on family, friends, workplaces and the broader community.”
To get help 24/7, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, phone 000 for emergency services.
Help to report about suicide safely is available online: Go to https://mindframe.org.au/
Clare Kinsella 0427 689 689 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Amelia Banks 0410 591 134 or email@example.com
About Suicide Prevention Australia
Suicide Prevention Australia is the national peak body and we’ve been providing support for Australia’s suicide prevention sector for more than 25 years. We support and advocate for our members to drive continual improvement in suicide prevention policy, programs and services. Our reach is broad, including member organisations, governments, businesses, researchers, practitioners and those with lived experience. We are focused on an integrated approach to suicide prevention encompassing mental health, social, economic and community factors. We believe that through collaborative effort and shared purpose, we can achieve our vision of a world without suicide.