New Headspace Program to Help Local Schools Affected by Suicide

Federal Member for Isaacs, Mark Dreyfus, today announced that the newly established, Headspace School Support program would help school communities come to terms with the loss caused by suicide and provide ongoing resources and training for school staff to identify students at risk of suicide.

Federal Member for Isaacs, Mark Dreyfus, today announced that the newly established, Headspace School Support program would help school communities come to terms with the loss caused by suicide and provide ongoing resources and training for school staff to identify students at risk of suicide.

Suicide can affect the whole school community, particularly fellow students, many of whom may never have dealt with the loss of a classmate, close friend or loved one before.

"Suicide is the single largest cause of death among young Australians. We've got to make sure young people at risk are connected with the right services," said Mr Dreyfus.

"We know that 1 in 4 young people will experience a mental health issue this year but three-quarters of these aren't receiving the professional help they need."

"Governments need to work together with schools and the community to tackle this problem and make sure young people are getting the appropriate support."

"Headspace - a popular youth mental health service - will be funded by the Gillard Labor Government to support students and the broader school community who are going through tough times and provide support in the wake of a suicide."

Mr Dreyfus said schools would also be connected with other mental health services available in the community including Headspace centres - which are being opened across the country.

"As well as building the capacity of schools themselves, the Headspace School Support workers will help strengthen the relationships between schools and their local networks, ensuring effective support and referral pathways are available for students at risk."

The program has been developed by leading educators and mental health clinicians. Headspace School Support teams are being established in states and territories. For more information about the program, visit http://www.headspace.org.au/