Year: 2020 Source: Issues in Educational Research. (2020). 30:2, p 452-472. SIEC No: 20200484

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in Australian adolescent males and rates are gradually increasing. Prompt attention to this issue is needed to stem the rising rates and prevent young boys from taking their lives. School based programs are an obvious place for prevention to occur as they have the capacity to impact a majority of students. However, there is insufficient evidence to show that prevention programs focusing specifically on suicide are effective. Research suggests schools that prioritise, develop and implement consistent programs focusing on the mental health of young people are more likely to reduce suicide. For these programs to be successful, risk and protective factors need to be examined and considered. This review examines factors present in secondary school contexts that will assist educators in developing pastoral care programs. School personnel are in an ideal position to recognise risk factors and schools have the capacity to employ protective factors through mental health programs. Schools that are proactive in tackling this issue have the potential to improve the mental health of all students and reduce the numbers of adolescent males who commit suicide.