Postvention – Spread the Word!

Have you heard the term Postvention? Do you know what Postvention means? Would you like to learn more?

Postvention is a term that has been especially coined for the care and support of those who have been bereaved by suicide.

So why does there need to be a word specifically for this? In 2020 the magnitude of suicide, meaning individuals impacted by suicide totalled an estimated 14,547,56. Each of these individuals have the right to, and deserve evidenced based support that is specific to the complicated grief that a loss through suicide leaves.  Those bereaved by suicide are at a higher risk of going on to attempt or completing suicide, so postvention also serves as a vital part of prevention.

I have been bereaved by suicide and did not hear the term postvention until 4 years after my loss, it was through a Harmless Suicide Bereavement Conference back in 2020 that I heard the term. After doing a search for local postvention support, I found we still have a way to go regarding coverage of the UK. Thankfully with the tireless work of Harmless and many others, we are getting there. The National Suicide Prevention Strategy and The NHS Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (Houses of Commons 2020) have set out commitment plans and targets, allocated £57 million in funding for prevention work up until 2023/24, the NHS asked all CCGs to deliver multi-agency prevention plans, which has been achieved, for full details please see link below.

At Harmless though we want to ensure that those on the ground are continually sharing learning opportunities and developments gained through supporting those like myself who have been bereaved by suicide. We are currently in the middle of our third annual Suicide Bereavement Conference, sharing knowledge in Practical Application Working with Overlooked Communities. Take at a sneak peek 3 key points taken from one of our session:

Leanne Moulton and Tom Garrett, talk to us about some of the incredible work being done within a Military environment. Some key points we can take away from this workshop are:

  1. How intuitive the support offered was, and the fact that the work was allowed to continuously evolve based on the needs of the individual as opposed to trying to get everyone to fit into a pre-made metaphorical box.
  2. The huge reduction of personnel experiencing suicidal ideation/thoughts from 13% to 3% really highlights the effectiveness of this cluster postvention support model.
  3. How suicide evokes such fear and often unhelpful responses through that fear, i.e.: not talking about suicide as this could make it happen – which only serves to increase stigma – Yet the want to support and prevent is there, however the lack of education around this topic with these military personnel inhibits that support and prevention occurring.

To learn more about the figures and facts that make up the shocking statistics of the magnitude of suicide please book onto one of our CDP accredited courses, many of which are fully funded (eligibility criteria applies), or gain access to this year’s essential and outstanding conference via the Eventbrite link: