Unlike other types of bereavement, people bereaved by suicide commonly experience shame, guilt, resentment, and blame. Not only is recovery more complex for survivors, but the exposure to suicide also increases their own risk to suicide. Suicide exposed individuals are at greater risk of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempt than suicide unexposed individuals.
The term postvention refers to interventions that are conducted after a suicide death to support those who have been affected, including family, friends, coworkers, classmates, and the community at large. Those grieving a suicide often receive less community support for their loss than those grieving deaths by other means, which can lead to isolation. NavOn believes that building capacity across organizations and communities in Postvention is critical to long term community mental health.
Postvention strategies have been designed to reduce the incidence of suicide contagion through community/organizational co-ordination, critical incident debriefing, bereavement supports and psycho-education. NavOn’s training focuses on community/organizational mobilization and clinical skills for service providers who support youth and families in the aftermath of suicide. Our training model is collaborative, evidence-based and is designed to support an organization’s ability to respond in the aftermath of suicide.
- Understand the concept of contagion for those exposed to suicide.
- Identify pathways increasing the risk of suicide contagion.
- Become familiar with strategies to minimize and manage contagion.
- Be able to identify and describe proximity and how it influences suicidal thoughts and behaviours.
- Understand the value and purpose of an intentional/coordinated postvention response.
- Understand warning signs of suicide and high-risk factors through case conceptualization.
- Differentiate between stress reactions, crisis reactions, and grief responses.
- Review emerging best practices for memorials and social media.
- Identify appropriate supports for bystanders, staff and caregivers.