Teachers will be given training on how to deal with tragic and critical incidents in their communities.
Minister for Education Richard Bruton has announced that every post-primary school teacher in Ireland is to receive special training on how to deal with student deaths by suicide, as well as other tragic incidents.
Minister Bruton said:
"I am keen to put as many safeguards as possible in place in our schools, to ensure we help our most vulnerable students. Unfortunately, while we put a big emphasis on preventative measures in our schools – such as the work we are doing on our Junior Cycle Wellbeing programme, it is sometimes necessary for a school to respond to a critical incident.
"Coping with the aftermath of critical incidents has become a challenging but necessary task for a number of schools in recent years. The training that we are announcing today, will ensure all schools are prepared to respond to such an incident.
"SafeTALK is an internationally recognised programme that can help teachers address the topic of suicide in a safe way. This is such an important conversation to have and I’m glad to be significantly expanding the availability of this training.
"Finally, I’d just like to extend my utmost sympathies and indeed admiration to all the schools and families who have shown wonderful strength, compassion and resilience at times of tragedy. I acknowledge the invaluable experience, competence and skills that teachers already have in dealing with children and young people in times of distress."
As per Merrion Street:
A critical incident is defined as an incident or series of events that overwhelms the normal coping mechanism of the school, for example, a suicide or a road traffic accident involving a member of the school community.
Training on responding to critical incidents will be delivered by the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) and teachers in all post-primary schools in the country will have the opportunity to take part in the training over the next two years.