Type of Entry: University guides
Name: Universities UK - suicide safer universities: sharing information
Date added: 27 October 2022
Delivery type: Guide
Owned by: Universities UK & Papyrus (UK)
Cost: No
Target audience: Teachers / educators
Core Elements

Universities UK (UKK) and PAPYRUS have published a guide for universities on when to involve families, carers and trusted contacts when there are serious concerns for a student’s safety or mental health.

Suicides are preventable and that universities can help to save lives when they adopt a proactive, rather than a reactive approach, to student suicide. Such as:

  • To have involvement of families, carers and trusted contacts.
  • Students should be at the centre of decisions about their care.
  • Universities should develop clear policies about when and how to involve families, carers and trusted contacts when there are serious concerns about a student’s safety or health.

This guide includes advice for universities for preventing suicide, covering the following areas:

  • Acknowledgment of the key role that trusted contacts can play
  • Making a whole-university commitment to sharing information responsibly
  • Clarity for staff about their roles, responsibilities, and legal obligations
  • Case studies on approaches to suicide prevention through sharing urgent information responsibly
  • Resources for universities for sharing information and confidentiality.

For more information, visit the Universities UK and PAPYRUS guide.

To find out more about the suicide safer universities campaign, visit the PAPYRUS website.

Supporting Rationale

64 students died by suicide in England and Wales in 2019‒2020.

Universities can help to save lives by having the confidence to reach out to students at risk and having plans and people in place to respond effectively, quickly and with compassion.

  • Professor Julia Buckingham and the Universities UK sharing taskforce (page 29 of the guide)
  • Mental health in higher advisory group (page 30 of the guide)

You can help by expanding this list - contact us

  • This resource was developed with PAPYRUS 
Additional Information

Visit the BBC website to read the report on universities in England told to contact students loved ones to stop suicides.

The aim of the ZSA Resources is to introduce users to a range of existing and new resources with a connection to supporting people with their mental health, bring awareness to and help prevent incidences of suicide.  The ZSA do not endorse individual resources but instead aim to present standardised information to enable the user to make an informed decision over its use.

This resource content was developed and approved in collaboration with the resource owner. If you would like to update this content, please contact us.

For more information on ZSA Resources, please refer to ZSA Policies.

Content last updated: 27/10/22.

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