Postvention is the set of interventions deployed in an environment when someone commits suicide. The aim is to reduce the suffering of the bereaved, increase the sense of security in the community, reduce the risk of a ripple effect and promote a return to normalcy. The deployment of postvention services involves, for example, preparation in terms of:

  • Clinical management and postvention coordination (event analysis, protocol for multiple suicides, characteristics of clinical management).
  • Communications management (event announcement guide, guidance in social media management, media management, communication with loved ones and family).
  • Commemorations.
  • Support for caregivers providing follow-up to the deceased.
  • Detection and intervention for:
    • Target relatives and witnesses of the event.
    • Specific vulnerable people who are likely to be affected by the event, or who may develop difficulties in the weeks or months following the suicide.
    • To the entire community.

Section 4.5 of the Department of Higher Education’s Action Plan on Student Mental Health in Higher Education calls on institutions to offer postvention services to community members bereaved by a student suicide.


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Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur (2021) Plan d’action sur la santé mentale étudiante en enseignement supérieur 2021-2026

Séguin, M. et al. (2020)  Programme de postvention : être prêt à agir à la suite d’un suicide.

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