2.4 Postvention


The fourth P is for Postvention. Postvention refers to the steps taken after a suicidal crisis occurs, either on- or off- campus. Included within the crisis protocols, postvention outlines a safe reentry plan for persons affected by a suicide or suicide attempt. Persons affected by suicidal crisis are anyone that may have had a close relationship, had contact with, or who were directly involved during the suicide crisis. This could include students, peers, staff, and family members. Administration and staff should know the correct personnel to contact to help with preventing or intervening any post-suicidal crises that may arise. The way that a school chooses to react in the Postvention stage can save or harm more lives in the school community. The SPRC has a toolkit for schools that outlines what to do after a suicide. Postvention is a great time to reiterate and strengthen suicide prevention efforts.

    Facilitated Discussion Instructions
  1. Review and access the recommended and additional resources for this section (listed below).
  2. Complete the section Worksheet:

Worksheet 4: Postvention

Recommended Resources for Discussing ‘Postvention’

“After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools” helps with planning crisis responses.
A Toolkit for Schools

Chapter 3 of “Preventing Suicide: A Toolkit for High Schools” provides guidelines and samples for different aspects of postvention processes.
A Toolkit for High Schools

The Lifeline Online Postvention Manual contains information on how to handle online and social media communications.
Postvention Manual

This straight-forward, 2-pg handout on recommended response protocols for Texas schools.

This section of “Texas Suicide Safer Schools Implementation Guide and Tools” provides in-depth, recommended procedures for postvention in Texas schools.
TxSSS Implementation Guide - Pt. 4

The video below explains how postvention is not just a response, but can also can be used as protection against and preparation for events that could follow.

    Additional Resources to Help with ‘Prevention’

  • The following provides model protocols for postvention after a student death and during summer/school breaks.
    Dealing with Suicide in Schools
  • Section V of the following resource provides guidelines, key considerations, and resources for postvention.
    Maine Youth Suicide Prevention Program
  • Pg. 8 from the “Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention”, “Postvention”, lists components to implement into an action plan.
    Model School District Policy
  • “Postvention Standards Manual - A Guide for a School’s Response in the Aftermath of Sudden Death” goes into extensive detail on components of postvention, including planning, coping for affective students, and memorials.
    Postvention Standards Manual
  • “Resources for Suicide Postvention Planning” lists additional postvention resources.
    Postvention Planning Resources
  • The following resource contains information and resources for responding to school crises as a whole.
    Responding to a Crisis at School
  • “Death - Suicide - Critical Incident: Crisis Response Procedures For Principals and Students Services Staff” provides overall crisis response resources during and after a crisis.
    Crisis Response Procedures
  • “Suicide Postvention as Suicide Prevention” lists additional postvention resources.
    Postvention as Prevention