Evaluation of the effectiveness of postvention initiatives in New South Wales secondary schools - final report

Authors Lamblin, M., Webb, M., McGuffog, R., Bodiam, T, Krysinska, K., Hill, NTM., Lougland, C., Fitzpatrick, S & Robinson, J.
Evaluator company Orygen
Year 2021
Classification Other evidence
Study type
Evaluation type Both process and impact


Research highlights that it is crucial to equip schools to respond in a prompt and informed manner to a suicide death of a student (postvention). Young people are susceptible to suicide contagion and a student’s death may start or contribute to a suicide cluster.

The primary aim of the evaluation was to examine the effectiveness of postvention initiatives in New South Wales public secondary schools and conduct a process evaluation that explores the implementation of the postvention guidelines; Responding to Student Suicide - Support Guidelines for Schools. The secondary aim was to explore the extent to which the guidelines achieved short and medium-term impacts. These guidelines were developed in 2015 and updated in 2016 by the NSW Department of Education. The evaluation employed a mixed methods approach underpinned by a review of the peer-reviewed and grey literature to identify best practice regarding postvention and suicide cluster responses in schools.

The evaluation found that the guidelines met a high standard for implementation and application in supporting school communities impacted by student suicide. The guidelines represent international best practice and have been adapted to meet the needs of New South Wales government secondary school settings. Overall, school staff reporting being satisfied with the quality of the guidelines. A number of areas were identified as being avenues for improvements or to make updates to the current guidelines.


  • Evaluation evidence bank

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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