20 Tavistock Square
A one-day seminar that will give delegates a better understanding of student suicide and ways of preventing and responding to it.
Delegates will hear research and case studies from leaders within and outside of the sector.
• The national policy landscape
• Latest research
• Prevention case studies
• Response case studies
Every student suicide is tragic, devastating for family and friends and with profound and far-reaching impacts across wider communities of students and staff. It is hard to imagine anything more immediately testing for university leadership.
The topic is of heightened public interest and it is also of governmental concern. At the end of last year, Jeremy Hunt urged universities to respond to the steep rise in student suicides in England and Wales.
On 15 February, Universities UK launched a further research project in partnership with the University of Worcester to improve our understanding of student suicide to enable better prevention and response. A survey of UUK members elicits data about the incidence of student suicide and current suicide prevention strategies across the sector.
Why is this important? Firstly, because there is much that universities can do to improve how they respond to deaths by suicide. There is significant variation in practice across the higher education sector and learning that could be drawn in from other sectors.
Secondly, because so many of these deaths may be preventable. However, this must be a wider effort, from institutional safeguarding to looking after your mate, from mental health first aid training to the building of aware and compassionate communities. These must be whole organisation approaches that prioritise the issue of mental health including mental distress and instigate and sustain systematic improvement.
These themes and more will be explored at our seminar at Woburn House.