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After A Suicide

What is different about suicide loss?

Suicide is a traumatic grief and initially families will be in shock.

A useful way for clergy to understand suicide loss is to think of it in terms of layers of grief, as seen below. It starts with the same grief that we all feel when we lose a loved one. However, it quickly worsens and is unlike any other loss.

Layers of Suicide Postvention
Suicide Postvention

What is Suicide Postvention?


Postvention describes any form of post-trauma support. The purpose of suicide postvention is to facilitate the recovery from traumatic loss of individuals touched by a suicide or an attempted suicide. Suicide loss is emotionally devastating and recovery means eventually rebuilding a normal life around the loss.

Clergy are involved in postvention because you are likely to be among the first to be contacted by family members. You also provide ongoing support with the grieving process, and you can play an important role in identifying and assisting those who may be vulnerable to anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and other severe grief reactions.

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