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The role of the psychologist in responding to youth suicide in schools

19 July 2019 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
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This workshop will prepare psychologists to respond ethically and confidently using evidence-based strategies to a suicide death within a school setting.

The impact of a youth suicide on a school community can be immediate and traumatic.

International research has identified a phenomenon known as suicide ‘contagion’, where a person’s knowledge of (or exposure to) a suicide increases the likelihood of them viewing suicide as an option.

In these circumstances schools need clear and practical information, which they can rely on for guidance and direction, to reduce this risk and support help-seeking behaviours among their student cohort.

Psychologists working in schools are therefore in a prime position to provide this information and to guide and support the school following the death of a student (i.e. complete a suicide postvention response).

The topics covered will include:

  • Legal implications for schools
  • Managing social media, memorials, anniversaries and birthdays
  • Managing suicide attempts
  • Managing a death that cannot be referred to as a ‘suicide’

Target audience

Psychologists (Educational, Clinical, Counselling) who work within secondary schools. There are no pre-requisites required in terms of knowledge or experience.


Participants are asked to undertake the following reading prior to attending the workshop:

  • Poijula S, Wahlberg KE, Dyregrov A. Adolescent suicide and suicide contagion in three secondary schools. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health. 2001; 3: 163–168
  • Swanson SA, Colman I. Association between exposure to suicide and suicidality outcomes in youth. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2013; 185:870–877
  • Andriessen K. Can postvention be prevention? Crisis. 2009; 30:43–47

BPS London Office
30 Tabernacle Street

Event Location: 

Learning Outcomes

  • Becoming ‘prepared’ as a Psychologist to respond to youth suicide in schools
  • Creating your own ‘Suicide Postvention Response Plan’ (template grid provided)
  • Assisting schools in preparing their own ‘Suicide Postvention Response Plan'
  • Reviewing evidence-based processes and procedures to complete during a suicide postvention response (i.e. what to do immediately upon notification of a death, during the first 24 hours, during the first 48 hours, first week, first month, and 1 year)


09:30-10:00 Registration
10:00 Workshop starts
12:30-13:00 Lunch (provided)
16:30 Workshop ends

Facilitator: Dr Alish Rodgers

Dr. Alish Rodgers completed her Doctorate in Educational & Child Psychology (University College London) in 2010. She has worked as an Educational & Child Psychologist in the UK, Australia and Ireland. Dr. Rodgers was the Lead Psychologist of a Headspace Project in Australia which provided a targeted, intensive response to secondary schools in an area that had been significantly impacted by youth suicide contagion.

She has recently moved back to the UK and is now employed on a part-time basis as an Educational & Child Psychologist for BANES Local Authority. She continues to provide training on the topics of emotional resilience, youth mental health, suicide postvention and self-harm mitigation in schools. She has completed this training day with Local Authorities in UK and Ireland.

She also provides regular supervision to Educational and Clinical Psychologists who are completing suicide postvention responses within the UK and Ireland.

Non-Members £245.00 (£204.17 + VAT)
Society Members £153.00 (£127.50 + VAT)

Please note: online bookings will close at midday on 18 July 2019  

To register for the workshop you need to sign into your BPS user account or create a new account by clicking the ‘create an account’ button.

When signed in, click the ‘register’ button to book onto the workshop.

For further information please contact [email protected]

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