HEARD Alliance | Toolkit – Postvention
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Postvention Response to a Suicide

Postvention (interventions that are conducted after a suicide) assists students in ways that promote the mental health of the entire school community and supports students experiencing a mental health or suicidal crisis after the suicidal death of a school community member. These interventions are meant to help manage the various aspects of the crisis and prevent contagion. Support and resources are provided for students, staff, parents and the entire community. All aspects of postvention strive to treat the loss in similar ways to that of other deaths within the school community and to return the school environment to its normal routine as soon as is possible. In this way, postvention is inextricably linked to prevention.

Topics

Find flow charts and a telephone tree template.

Adolescents and those in their early 20’s are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of exposure to the suicide of a peer. This can lead to phenomena called suicide contagion and suicide clusters among this age group.

Research indicates that the way suicide is reported in the media can contribute to additional suicides and suicide attempts. Stories that follow the media recommendations or about attempt survival and recovery can provide hope in the face of tragedy.

Grieving after such a loss requires support in order to navigate a profoundly changed world.

Self care is required for personal wellness. It is not self indulgence to care for one’s self but rather self preservation – the means to achieving an effective and fulfilling life.

Toolkit for Mental Health Promotion & Suicide Prevention K-12