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A postvention is an intervention conducted after a suicide, largely taking the form of support for the bereaved (family, friends, professionals and peers). Family and friends of the suicide victim may be at increased risk of suicide themselves.
The aim is to support and debrief those affected; and reduce the possibility of suicide contagion. Interventions recognize that those bereaved by suicide may be vulnerable to suicidal behaviour themselves and may develop complicated grief reactions.
Postvention includes procedures to alleviate the distress of suicidally bereaved individuals, reduce the risk of imitative suicidal behavior, and promote the healthy recovery of the affected community. Postvention can also take many forms depending on the situation in which the suicide takes place. Schools and colleges may include postvention strategies in overall crisis plans. Individual and group counseling may be offered for survivors (people affected by the suicide of an individual).
The Suicide Aftercare Association, a 501(c)(3) public charity, was formed to reduce the possibility of suicide contagion and secondary suicides by performing biohazardous cleaning of suicide attempt and completion scenes so families are relieved of this burden.
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