Threats of Mass Casualty Attacks in Schools; Managing the Risk in Western Australia

Dr Natalie Pyszora1,2,3,4
1Department Of Health WA, Perth, Australia, 2School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia, 3School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, Perth, Australia, 4Western Australia Police Force, Maylands, Australia

Schools encounter workplace threats and violence for a number of reasons.

The focus of this presentation is the school as the target for a Mass Casualty Attack (MCA).

In Western Australia, the FTAC regularly manages cases of threatened MCAs in schools, with an average of one per week. The joint agency approach between police and mental health within an FTAC is well placed to provide the mental health and law enforcement expertise in initial assessment and co-ordination of multiagency management of these threats.

This presentation will give a brief summary of the literature on the development of threat assessment and management processes for these types of threats. It will then summarise data on the threats reported during the first 6 months of operation of WA’s FTAC. It will outline the importance of engagement with key stakeholders in the multiagency management of the risks, and explain how formalisation of reporting processes and key responsibilities of each agency ensures appropriate management of risk, including health/welfare concerns for the students concerned.


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