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Responding to suicide in school pastoral care settings: A workshop for Deans and Senior Leadership - Dunedin

Price $335 NZD + GST Register

Event description

The way schools respond to wellbeing-related concerns, issues, crises and incidents is closely linked to the way in which their school culture and associated values and beliefs underpin their curriculum, responses and pastoral care decisions (ERO - Wellbeing for Success: A Resource for Schools)

In an academic, disciplinary or other pastoral care discussion:

  • a student discloses thoughts about suicide
  • the behaviour or mood of a student causes concern

These scenarios can be challenging for Deans, Senior Leadership or other non-counselling staff involved in the provision of pastoral care. 

Yes refer to the school counsellor, but in that moment what are some useful ways to respond that student's disclosure

Should you act on your concern about the student's mood or behaviour?

It is these kind of pastoral care questions that are addressed in this workshop.  It is specifically designed for Deans, Form Teachers, Youth Workers, Directors of Pastoral Care or other non-counselling school staff involved in providing pastoral care to students. School counselling are also encouraged to attend. 

Participants will have the opportunity to explore how best to respond in the first instance  and whether any concerns should be actioned upon.  The workshop will address those common fears of saying or doing something that makes the situation worse or betraying the student's trust.

The learning outcomes of the workshop series is for participants to:

  • have a sound of understanding of suicidality in young people
  • feel comfortable in a situation of suicide disclosure
  • be confident in enquiring more if they are concerned about a student's wellbeing
  • respond in a safe and calming way 
  • be clear about the boundaries in their roles and skills
  • make an informed referral to counselling staff
  • have up to date in their understanding of duty care and confidentiality in relation to suicidality in a student
  • utilise debriefing and self care strategies after an intense situation

Participants will be encouraged to present scenarios or situations which they find challenging in pastoral care situations and as a group will collectively reflect on possible solutions.

Topics covered will include:

  • Pastoral not therapeutic - skills for responding to suicidality
  • Don't panic - strategies to contain in the first instance a suicide crisis situation
  • The continuum of care - the interface of pastoral care and counselling in the ongoing care and support of a vulnerable student
  • Reflecting and learning: those 'what should I do now" moments - a group reflection 
  • Anxious vs fearful, looking after yourself after a difficult pastoral care situation
  • Pastoral care roles in a school in the event of a suicide death
  • What does your pastoral care plans - an audit of policies and procedures in case of suicide

School Group Participation
Schools are encouraged to have more than one staff member participate in the online workshops. Past workshops has shown that having more than one staff member has maximised the benefit of the workshop activities which can then been continued post-workshop. To promote school group participation, there is a group discount of 20% for schools that register three or more participants. School Counsellors who are members of NZAC or CCANZ are also eligible for a  20% discount off their registration.


Barry has worked in mental wellbeing promotion and suicide prevention/postvention for 35 years at the local, national and international levels.  His extensive experience includes sitting on state and national government advisory committees; designing, implementing and evaluating suicide prevention programs; writing suicide prevention guidelines, training packages and community resources; providing technical advice to community based and national mental wellbeing and suicide prevention programs. 

He has led multiple ‘firsts’ in the context of suicide prevention and postvention both in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas.  In recognition of his outstanding contribution to mental wellbeing and suicide prevention, he was awarded in 2016 the NSW Mental Health Commissioner's Community Champion Award.  He currently sits on the Health and Disability Ethics Committee.

A pioneer in suicide risk assessment training in this country, Barry's insights are informed by a comprehensive and critical understanding of the research and latest thinking in both the national and international suicide prevention sector. He developed the first national suicide prevention and postvention guidelines for Australian schools as well as reviewing and updating the NZ guidelines.

Drawing also on his extensive experience in engaging, assessing and supporting suicidal people from different cultures, age groups,genders and sexualities,he offers practical and time proven approaches to engaging with a suicidal student. He has extensive experience in suicide postvention guiding numerous communties, schools, universities, workplaces and mental health organisations through the aftermath of a suicide as well as providing support to those bereaved by suicide. He is a member of the Clusters and Contagion in Suicidal Behaviour and the Suicide Postvention and Bereavement Special Interest Groups of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. 

He has advised governments on effective postvention strategies and provided guidance for schools in both New Zealand and Australia. In 1990 he wrote the first postvention guidelines for New Zealand schools, In a Time of Crisis. In 2007 he developed the Wellington Regional Postvention Response, a whole of community response aimed at preven:ng suicide contagion and ensuring appropriate support to the bereaved. He has a particular interest in the rise of intergenerational suicide in whānau and hapū, especially in men. 

As a health sociologist, Barry offers an unique insight into the evolving phenomenon of suicide in the New Zealand context and the critical social and cultural determinants that have influenced it, insights that very few others trainers or training programs in this country provide. The workshop is enriched by the learnings from Barry's own lived experience of depression and suicidality and his pathway to recovery.

After a number of years overseas, Barry is living back in New Zealand and is passionate about building the knowledge base, competence and capability within our country to effectively respond to the unacceptably high rate of suicide in this country.


Places in the workshop are limited. If the workshop is full please register your name on the waitlist

Group Booking Discount: Book 3 or more participants in one booking and receive 20% discount off each registration

Payment: Payment is by either:
Credit Card (Visa or Mastercard) or 
Instalment payment (ZIP and Afterpay) 
Invoice - The school can request to pay by invoice. At payment method click on Invoice,

    Terms for Payment By Invoice

    By selecting to pay by invoice the organisation agrees to the following conditions:

    1.  Your place in the workshop is not confirmed until payment has been received. Payment of the invoice must be made within seven days of registering to avoid having your registration cancelled. Late payment fees apply.

    2.  A Tax Invoice from TaylorMade Training and Consulting will be sent to you separately which will contain bank details for payment.  

    3.  By registering for the workshop, you agree to the cancellation and policy. (refer below).  Organisations who cancel within seven days of the workshop and have not paid the invoice for the outstanding registration fee are still obligated to pay the outstanding debt.

    Cancellation and Refund Policy
    Workshops can fill quickly. If you are no longer able to attend the workshop please cancel your registration as soon as possible. The following refund policy is strictly adhered to.

    Cancellation up to seven days prior to the commencement of the workshop:  Full Refund less $40+GST admin fee

    Cancellation within seven days prior to the commencement of the workshop: No refund but registration can be transferred to another person. To transfer your registration log on to your registration and update the name and contact details to the new person attending.

    Non attendance:   No refund

    Disclaimer: The information and professional advice delivered in the workshop and the associated printed material is provided solely on the basis that before relying on this material, participants should obtain appropriate advice relevant to their particular circumstance to evaluate its accuracy, currency, completeness and relevance for their purposes. TaylorMade Training and Consulting will not be liable for any damages of any kind to any person or entity arising from the use of this information. Your attendance at this workshop reflects your acceptance of this statement.

    Organiser Contact Details

    Barry Taylor
    Principal Consultant |  TaylorMade Training and Consulting
    Office:  04 280 0146                           Mobile:  022 397 9294
    Email:  registration@4wellbeing.nz   Website:  www.4wellbeing.nz

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    Refund policy

    Refunds are available up to 7 days prior to the event