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Script for leaders to students (about traumatic death)

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Refer to this as a traumatic death. Do not use the term ‘suicide’.

We do not recommend whole school assemblies. It makes it hard to monitor students.

Use a small group, if possible. Keep friendship groups together, when you can.

If you have or can set up any culturally safe spaces, change this script to allow for that.

Read this script out loud.


I am about to share some sad news.

<Today / yesterday / date> we were given the very sad news that on < day / date > one of our year < XX > students died traumatically. We are all thinking of their family and friends at this difficult time.

This news might be distressing for some of you to hear.

For this reason a support room has been set up in < XX > for any students to go to. Use this if you feel you can’t be in the classroom today. Someone will be in the room at all times to support you.

For <Aboriginal / name of cultural group> students, there is a safe space available. Staff will be there for you too.

You might not have been close to the student but still have strong feelings. This is okay. I encourage you to use the support room.

You might like to talk to someone. Our <school counsellors / student wellbeing leaders> will be available as usual. We might also have extra counsellors or social workers in the school today.

It’s important we all respect the family’s privacy. This includes when talking to friends or posting on social media.

Be sensitive to people’s feelings. Look out for each other. Let a teacher or your parents know if you are worried about anything or anyone.