Postvention guidance - support for staff after the death by suicide of a colleague
Amongst health professionals, the suicide rate is 24% higher than the national average.
A colleague’s suicide can lead to difficulty performing job tasks or continuing patient-facing work. Postvention is a package of support that can be offered to people affected by a death by suicide. Effective postvention can support recovering and reduce the likelihood of developing mental health problems and suicidal feelings among those impacted by the death.
Postvention guidance has been created, informed by a systematic review, interviews with NHS staff affected by a colleague’s suicide and a stakeholder workshop. It includes advice on:
Preparation (to ensure a proactive rather than reactive response)
An immediate response, with timely and clear communication about the death
Postvention, offered to cater for staff members’ emotional and practical needs
Consideration of the needs of managers/ postvention team members
Support that is sustained over time
Ensure key team members are familiar with Postvention guidance (link below)
Consider allocating protected time for your practice team to take stock of their working environment at regular intervals, so proactive changes can be made to support them
Postvention guidance: Supporting NHS staff after the death by suicide of a colleague.
On the study website under outputs, is a video sharing the story of 3 study participants.