The goals of postvention responses are to facilitate healthy healing from a suicide attempt at both an individual and community level, and to prevent future suicide attempts. A persons suicide attempt is a traumatic experience for the whole community. Our response, as a community, can decrease the likelihood of more attempts. How we answer the following questions depends on who we are in the community.
How do we support a person recovering from the attempt?
How do we support the friends and family members affected by the attempt?
How do we build a support network for all those affected in our community?
Often, families, friends and communities shy away from survivors of suicide loss because of the stigma surrounding the death. Simply being present with the survivor and allowing them to tell their story reduces their sense of isolation and stigma. Other common needs for survivors include:
1. Survivor support groups – Research has found that meeting others who have experienced a similar loss has been helpful for many survivors.
2. Counseling referrals
3. Practical assistance – Refer for forensic restoration; help with death notifications and insurance claims; encourage rest, food, water, etc.
4. Linking to resources – Provide the survivor with resources they may need for counseling or other services.
If you or someone you know is having a mental health crisis, call or text Crisis Hotline 988.