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Suicide Postvention

image of support group

Schools must be prepared to act and provide postvention support and action in the event of a suicide attempt or completed suicide. Suicide postvention has been defined as “the provision of crisis intervention, support and assistance for those affected by a suicide” (American Association of Suicidology). Postvention strategies after a suicide attempt or completion are very important. Schools should be aware that youth and others associated with the event are vulnerable to suicide contagion or, in other words, at increased risk for suicide. Families and communities can be especially sensitive after a suicide event. The school’s primary responsibility in these cases is to respond to the suicide attempt or completion in a manner which appropriately supports students and the school community impacted. This includes having a system in place to work with the multitude of groups that may eventually be involved, such as students, staff, parents/guardians, community, law enforcement and media.