Find best practices for community response to a death by suicide including media recommendations for reporting on suicide.
Postvention is defined as actions taken after a death by suicide. This section contains many best practice resources and information for use in a variety of environments to ensure careful and sensitive care for families and communities impacted by a death by suicide.
Community Postvention Goals:
- Reduce the risk of further suicidal behavior
- Avoid glorifying or sensationalizing the suicide
- Avoid vilifying the decedent
- Identify youth who may represent a high risk for suicidal behavior
- Connect at risk youth with mental health resources
- Identify/alter environmental factors that may be influencing the process of contagion
- Provide long term surveillance and analysis
For more information on what communities can do after a death by suicide, see Part 3 of “Coming Together to Care, A Suicide Prevention and Postvention Toolkit for Texas Communities,” http://texassuicideprevention.org//wp-content/uploads/2013/06/24215-Mental_Health_09_Suicide_Prev_Book_Complete_FINAL.pdf
Another resource for community postvention guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control:www.cdc.gov/mmwR/preview/mmwrhtml/00001755.htm
Manager’s Guide to Suicide Postvention in the Workplace – http://workingminds.org/ManagersGuidebook.pdf
Postvention in the Community
Due to the inherent vulnerability of many youth (and others) in response to suicidal behavior displayed by others, it is important that every school and community have a postvention response plan in place. Too many times a school has found itself caught in a wildfire of suicidal behavior resulting in preventable deaths, injuries due to attempts and lives that are forever altered. Prevention is the key, and incorporating suicide prevention programs is the first level of preventative measures. Once suicide behavior has occurred, postvention protocols should be implemented immediately to prevent imitative suicide behavior among at-risk youth and other individuals in the community.
The Texas Suicide Prevention Toolkit has a comprehensive chapter discussing Postvention. Please see Chapter 6 here: http://txsuicideprev2.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/TexasSuicidePrevention-2012Toolkit_8-31.pdf