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Guidelines on promoting positive mental health and suicide prevention in post-primary schools published

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 31/01/2013. Tags: Education And Politics Teachers News Parenting

text re imageNew national Guidelines on promoting positive mental health and suicide prevention in post-primary schools published.

“Well-Being in Post-Primary Schools” important tool for schools

The Minister for Education and Skills, the Minister of State for Disability, Older People, Equality & Mental Health and the Director of the National Office of Suicide Prevention launched new guidelines for mental health and suicide prevention for post-primary schools today (31st January).

The Guidelines provide a framework, with information for schools and agencies supporting schools, on how to address issues of mental health promotion and suicide prevention. The Guidelines are for all members of the school community, boards of management and in-school management teams who play a central leadership role in mental health promotion. They will also be useful for the statutory and non-statutory partners, parents, parents’ associations, students, student councils, health and other personnel who are seeking an understanding of how to best work in and with schools.

The Guidelines are divided into three main sections:

School Support for ALL provides a whole-school approach to mental health and suicide prevention.

School Support for Some specifically focuses on the early identification of a small number of young people or groups who are at risk of developing unhealthy patterns of behaviour or who are already showing early signs of mental health difficulties.

School Support for A Few outlines how schools can support young people with more complex or enduring needs relating to their mental and emotional well-being.
Schools are in a unique position to identify and support those who are experiencing distress and to provide an environment which encourages young people to bring to attention any incidents or issues of concern.
It is important to recognise that mental health and well-being are not the sole responsibility of schools. Parents and the wider school community also have complementary roles, each supporting the other.

The Guidelines present in an integrated way the existing elements of good practice, which schools should have in place. These include whole- school implementation of SPHE, a whole school guidance plan, which includes planning to deal with critical incidents. The HSE’s Health Promoting School Process (HSP) is also outlined and the Guidelines show how the HSP can be introduced to schools to complement existing good practice.
Copies of the Guidelines will be distributed to schools in the coming weeks. The full Guidelines can be downloaded here


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