chris tanti, headspace - case study: the headspace school support program

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  1. 1. headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation Chris Tanti - CEO
  2. 2. Why headspace? 75% of mental and substance use disorders start before the age of 25 Need to target young people Disorders have a trajectory or stage Intervene as early as possible for better outcomes Many young people do not seek help, or seek help late Change knowledge, attitudes and behaviour Many young people feel uncomfortable with existing services Create youth friendly services Mental disorders can have major psychosocial complications (e.g. school drop out) Need a holistic focus (symptom and social recovery) through multidisciplinary team and service links
  3. 3. Pre headspace GPs Mental Health Service School Centrelink Care and Protection Services Support Services Family Housing Young Person Specialist care AOD Services
  4. 4. The headspace Platform Young Person in their environment Mental health Physical health Vocational support AOD support Other supports as needed Shared and coordinated care
  5. 5. Our Centres
  6. 6. eheadspace eheadspace
  7. 7. headspace School Support
  8. 8. headspace School Support headspace School Support provides advice, support and assistance to school communities to reduce and minimise the devastation and impact following the suicide death of a student. headspace School Support has multidisciplinary teams operating throughout Australia to deliver a nationally endorsed, evidence based, consistent and co-ordinated approach to suicide postvention services for young people, parents and staff in schools.
  9. 9. Why Postvention? Experiencing the death of someone to suicide can have a devastating effect on individuals and communities. An appropriate and timely response to suicide can reduce the impact on those affected and aid in the recovery of the school community. The provision of an evidence based postvention response can lower the risk of subsequent suicides and provide resilience to those young people at risk or vulnerable. Postvention support is prevention.
  10. 10. A continuum of suicide- related behaviour in adolescents Suicidal thoughts / feelings Lifetime: 29.9% Past year: 24% Suicide attempt Lifetime: 12-17% Past year: 5-10% Suicide In 2011 age 15-19 115 deaths by suicide
  11. 11. Age standardised suicide rates in Australia: 15-24 year olds (ABS 2012)
  12. 12. Contagion & clusters Process of contagion whereby one persons suicide influences another person to attempt suicide (O'Carroll & Potter, 1994) Suicide clusters are common among young people (Hazell,1993); as well as indigenous communities (Hanssens & Hanssens, 2007; Wilkie et al, 1998); prisoners (McKenzie & Keane, 2007) and people with mental illness (McKenzie et al, 2005)
  13. 13. Contagion and Clusters For every young person who dies by suicide, significantly more are negatively affected Between 1-5% of youth suicides are thought to be part of a cluster (Gould et al, 1987) Contagion is thought to be a key factor in 60% of all youth suicides (Davidson et al, 1989)
  14. 14. headspaceSchoolSupport hSS Service Components
  15. 15. Models of mental health promotion / suicide prevention (Mrazek and Haggerty 1994) Indicated interventions For those known to be at risk: e.g. psychological therapy / follow-up care post suicide attempt2 Selective interventions For those displaying risk factors for suicidal behaviour: e.g. GP education programs1 / gatekeeper training1 / screening programs2 Universal interventions For whole populations: e.g. restricting access to means1; sensitive media reporting2; awareness raising / health promotion programs
  16. 16. Collaborations School Support Education Departments and Authorities School Principals and Leadership Teams Health Departments and services Community Services
  17. 17. Raising the need Sheree video
  18. 18. In Practice - Victoria The foundation: 1) Agreed collaborative approach to responding to a suicide with Education Department, Catholic Education Office and Independent Schools Association and Department of Health 2) Local partnerships with school networks, Principals, school based welfare staff, Tertiary Mental Health Services and relevant Community Services 3) Circulars to all school Principals from the Director General Education Department and CEO of Catholic Education Office 4) Joint promotion of State issued suicide postvention guidelines and working collaboratively to implement these in schools
  19. 19. In Practice The communication channels: headspace School Support is notified of a death by suicide from the Department/Authority through their critical incident reporting mechanisms Preliminary conversations between Department/Authority reps, headspace School Support and Tertiary Mental Health Service about the initial response and support to the school, including identifying the primary co-ordinating body Agreed roles and functions Daily communication through interagency briefings to ensure collaborative response and consistent messaging
  20. 20. In Practice Initial support: Provision of advice, support and assistance to the school leadership team to apply an evidence lead response in the school which includes: Informing teachers, staff, parents, students and key adults who interact with affected students (bus driver, sporting coach etc) Supporting staff with their own grief and response Supporting staff to provide support to young people including the identification and support of young people who may be vulnerable to contagion Managing media, social media and the narrative (stories) that arise
  21. 21. In Practice Ongoing support and collaboration: In partnership with school personnel, departmental reps and key local services a recovery plan is negotiated for the next 12 to 18 months that focuses on supporting and managing grief responses, resilience and prevention activities
  22. 22. To date Between October 2012 and September 2013 we have: Had contact with 774 schools Provided support to schools following a death by suicide 52 times Recruited a staff team of 40 spread across Australia Provided suicide risk assessment training to more than 300 people who work in secondary schools Provided 166 secondary consultations to school welfare staff Worked with more than 300 schools to commence preparing postvention response plans and build capacity in their schools
  23. 23. Thank you