Teachers’ Experiences of Working with Students who have Attempted Suicide and Returned to the Classroom

Authors

  • Kiah Buchanan Memorial University
  • Gregory E Harris Memorial University

Abstract

Student suicide is a serious issue facing intermediate/secondary schools. Teachers have the potential to play important roles in addressing such risk. This study utilized semi-structured interviews with six intermediate/secondary teachers in Newfoundland concerning their experiences of working with a student who had returned to the classroom after an attempted suicide. Coding was utilized to determine common themes among the data. Findings indicated teachers experienced shock, uncertainty, anxiety, and fear in terms of how to handle such situations. Participants also discussed various issues around access to student information and some noted limited knowledge of appropriate courses of action. They recommended proactive and inclusive policy/program development as well as teacher preparation in the area of preventing student suicide attempts. Study results are discussed in the context of the needs of teachers, along with a focus on teachers’ perceptions of what they needed to support their students. The role of the wider school system in supporting teachers and students when it comes to suicide is also a major consideration.

Author Biography

Gregory E Harris, Memorial University

Faculty of Education

Associate Professor

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Published

2014-08-19

How to Cite

Buchanan, K., & Harris, G. E. (2014). Teachers’ Experiences of Working with Students who have Attempted Suicide and Returned to the Classroom. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 37(2), 1–28. Retrieved from https://journals.sfu.ca/cje/index.php/cje-rce/article/view/1306

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Section

Articles