Suicide attempt and secrecy;Helpline;Briefing;School Management

21st May 1999 at 01:00
One of our sixth-form students made a suicide attempt at school. She is over 18 and does not live with her parents. She does not wish them to know. Should we respect her wishes?

Yes, you should. She is an adult and deemed capable of making decisions for herself. The fact that this unfortunate event took place on your premises is incidental. Your pastoral concern for her is no less than one would expect, but she may well need expert counselling of a kind the school is not equipped to provide. You can only try to persuade her to seek appropriate help, but you cannot force her to accept your advice.

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