Introduction to this Emerging Minds funded project by the Lead Researcher, Dr Lucy Biddle, University of Bristol:
Approximately 150 school children die by suicide in England and Wales annually. The suicide of a young person has long-term effects on the mental health of peers, teachers and parents, requiring effective postvention support.
Step-by-Step (SBS) is the only UK school postvention service and is provided by Samaritans, the UK suicide prevention charity. SBS aims to enable schools to recover from a suicide/ suicide attempt and to reduce likelihood of further suicides.
This project led by University of Bristol in collaboration with Samaritans aims to identify the best way to measure and define delivery of the SBS intervention. This will include focus groups with Samaritans staff and postvention advisors (PVAs) to understand how SBS is delivered at ground-level, from which processes for data capture will be developed and piloted. This will be followed by telephone interviews with one teacher from 10 schools receiving SBS to better understand their experiences of receiving the service.
At the end of the project, an accurate means of capturing data about the SBS intervention will have been identified, enabling Samaritans to better address the needs of schools, and informing a future large-scale evaluation of SBS.