As part of her Master of Education (Research), Founding Director of RTO Doctor Raelene Bartlett (nee Cameron) conducted a qualitative study on youth suicide prevention in education with a specific focus on the Framework for Student Support Services in Victorian Government Schools.  Raelene received her Master of Education (Research) in December 2004.  Three examiners confirmed and applauded the outcomes of the research before it was deeply buried away from public viewing.  This electronic version is made available for those who over the years have asked the questions…what did you study?  What was your research about?  Why didn’t you ever do anything with it?  Can we see it?


The purpose of this study was to determine if the Framework for Student Support Services for Victorian Government Schools (here after the Framework) strengthens or reduces youth suicide prevention efforts in Victoria.  This was answered by conducting an in-depth critical analysis into the Framework.  The study also incorporates an interview carried out by the researcher with a leading Australian suicidologist.  This expert has provided information about essential features of the role of education in youth suicide prevention, to benefit future educational policy development in the area of youth suicide prevention.

The study was carried out in a qualitative paradigm with critical inquiry guiding the research at all times.  The analysis was completed using document analysis solely and the findings and recommendations are grounded in a thorough review of the relevant literature.  The study is also enhanced by an online interview with one of Australia’s leading suicide prevention experts.  In this interview, he provides a comprehensive guideline as to the roles of various stakeholders in education as it relates to suicide prevention such as schools, individual teachers and initial teacher education providers.  All document analysis was performed using inductive data analysis techniques such as open coding.

These findings have implication for educational policy development, social and welfare policy development of all levels of government and private policy creation, implementation and evaluation.  The findings have direct implications on the role of education sectors as a while and the various roles these sector shave in the prevention of youth suicide.  The results of this study also have implications for future research in suicide prevention and education and suicide prevention generally.

Crucially, these results have results for young people at risk of suicide and the support and services they receive.  The results also have a vital implication on the ability of these same young people at risk of suicide to empower themselves by providing them with resources to initiate change, allowing them to improve the realities that they own.