Postvention is psychological first aid, crisis intervention, and other support offered after a suicide to affected individuals or the workplace as a whole to alleviate possible negative effects of the event.
The Guide outlines the vital roles managers play when a crisis situation occurs in a workplace, including fostering effective communications, providing helpful resources, and setting an example for employees. The 10 action steps are designed for implementation in any work setting, and the Guide concisely explains the rationale for each step, illustrates its implementation, provides a checklist of substeps, and points to authoritative resources supporting its recommendations.
It also includes templates to guide employers in communicating news of a death to employees and to the public.The Action Steps are:
- Immediate -- Acute Phase
- 1. Coordinate: Contain the crisis.
- 2. Notify: Protect and respect the privacy rights of the deceased employee and their loved
- ones during death notification.
- 3. Communicate: Reduce the potential for contagion.
- 4. Support: Offer practical assistance to family.
- Short-Term -- Recovery Phase
- 5. Link: Identify and link impacted employees to additional support resources and refer those most affected to professional mental health services.
- 6. Comfort: Support, comfort, and promote healthy grieving of the employees who have been impacted by the loss.
- 7. Restore: Restore equilibrium and optimal functioning in the workplace.
- 8. Lead: Build and sustain trust and confidence in organizational leadership.
- Demonstrating leadership in times of crisis is always an opportunity to build trust, confidence, and workplace cohesiveness.
- Longer-Term -- Reconstructing Phase
- 9. Honor: Prepare for anniversary reactions and other milestone dates.
- 10. Sustain: Transition postvention to suicide prevention.
The "Manager's Guide to Suicide Postvention in the Workplace" was developed through a partnership among the American Association of Suicidology, Carson J. Spencer Foundation, Crisis Care Network, and National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.