Suicide prevention training to be introduced in primary schools

Over 600 pupils aged over 10 had received one-to-one counselling since November 2020.

Suicide prevention training to be introduced at Perth and Kinross primary schools iStock

Suicide prevention training is being developed for Perth and Kinross primary schools.

The news was revealed to councillors at a meeting this week.

Earlier this month the Local Democracy Reporting Service revealed over 600 pupils – aged over 10 – had received one-to-one counselling since November 2020.

The statistic was included in PKC’s Education and Children’s Services Joint Service Business Management and Improvement Plan (BMIP) 2022/23.

The same report revealed suicide prevention training was being developed in Perth and Kinross secondary schools.

It also said an audit of social and emotional training needs in primary schools had been carried out in order to shape the appropriate training required.

The report went before PKC’s Learning and Families Committee on June 29.

At Wednesday’s meeting Perth City South councillor Liz Barrett said: “I welcome the development of training on suicide prevention and safety planning, and the multi-agency work on self-harm guidance and good practice needs across schools.”

The Liberal Democrat councillor asked when it would be rolled out and if the training would be given in primaries too.

Head of education and learning, Sharon Johnston said: “The work on suicide prevention and early intervention is work that’s ongoing.

“We’ve already undertaken a number of sessions with our secondary schools and we continue to develop guidance alongside practice.

“We are looking at a set of guidance – which is in fact in development – and will be completed for a final draft to discuss with local authority staff but also with our public health colleagues over the summer.

“A number and range of meetings have taken place over recent months and we’re really at the final stages of looking at the guidance that will be shared.”

Speaking on Wednesday – just before the schools broke up – she added: “So the work is happening. Obviously we’ve been very conscious of the summer holiday coming up and any urgent and immediate work that is required in terms of safety planning has already taken place. Our guidance will go through a final consultation process and we will look at putting together some sessions for school staff – and that does include primary schools.

“We have been in discussion with primary schools already this term just to take staff through the training that’s required and the ongoing discussions about how we put that into practice.”

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