Sharing your story at school or work

If you have been suicidal, attempted suicide or are bereaved by suicide, taking time out from your normal routine is natural. 

Returning to work or study is an important sign that you are getting back on track but it can be difficult to explain why you have been away.

If you don’t have close relationships with the people you work or study with you may not want to talk about what has happened; you might want to keep your personal and work/study life separate. However, by letting someone know (such as managers, supervisors, study coordinators), you create opportunities to receive additional support.

It may be useful to discuss the possibility of:
  • flexible days or times in the initial return to work or study
  • the potential need to have time off to attend appointments
  • initial reduced work or study load while you transition back
  • flexible deadlines for work or study tasks
  • identifying who else can support you in the work or study setting.

In the video below, blueVoices member Shane talks about how support from his employer and colleagues made a huge impact on his recovery, and how it helped him feel supported to return to work. You can find more information and videos of people sharing their personal stories about returning to work following a traumatic experience on the Heads Up website.

Shane's experience at work

''It's the little things I tend to remember and hold on to, that people are making an effort and just making someone feel safe and comfortable.''


Under equal opportunity laws, workplaces and teaching institutions (such as universities and TAFE) are required to make adjustments to support people who have been or are physically or mentally unwell. Before returning to either work or study, you may wish to get advice, or find out about your rights and/or what supports are available from services such as:

  • your workplace’s Human Resources department
  • the Employee Assistance Program provider or Student Counselling Service
  • the Australian Human Rights Commission
  • the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Crisis support

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000. Other services include:

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.

All done! You should’ve received a confirmation email, so please check when you’re finished here and click the link in the email. If you can’t see it, we might be in your junk mail.

Subscribe failed. Please try later or contact us.