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Suicide prevention training for secondary school teachers to be expanded

Education Minister Richard Bruton announced that the SafeTALK programme will be rolled out to six further education centres.

Image: Shutterstock/Serhii Fedoruk

THE GOVERNMENT IS set to expand its suicide prevention training programme for secondary school teachers in September.

Education Minister Richard Bruton announced that the SafeTALK programme will be rolled out to six further education centres at the beginning of the next school year.

The programme is an internationally recognised training programme that stresses safety while challenging taboos that inhibit open talk about suicide.

It was first rolled out to six education centres at the beginning of the last school year.

There are 21 full-time education centres and nine part-time centres that offer teacher training and coordination to different school across the country.

SafeTALK is a “suicide alertness for everyone” half day training programme that helps to prepare people to identify others with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources.

Critical incidents 

Bruton also announced that teachers in all post-primary schools across the country will receive training on how to respond when “critical incidents” occur in the school community.

Critical incidents are defined as an incident or series of events that overwhelms the normal coping mechanism of the school.

This could be, for example, a suicide or a road traffic accident involving a member of the school community.

Training in how to deal with these incidents will be delivered by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) over the next few years.

“Coping with the aftermath of critical incidents has become a challenging but necessary task for a number of schools in recent years,” said Bruton.

The training that we are announcing today, will ensure all schools are prepared to respond to such an incident.

If you need to talk, please contact:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or text 087 2 60 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.ie
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 1800 247 247 or email mary@pieta.ie (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)  

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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