Postvention refers to activities or interventions occurring after a death by suicide, to support those bereaved or affected (family, friends, professionals, peers, responders, community) to cope with stressors and manage the experience of loss and grief.

It is a significant form of suicide prevention as research suggests that suicide bereavement increases suicide risk, and that for every suicide death, there are approximately 135 people who are directly impacted by that death. 1

What does this mean?What activities support this?
PostventionInterventions focused on supporting individuals, families and communities affected by a suicide death.
  • Practical and psychological support.
  • Effective and safe communication about suicide to reduce risk to others affected by or exposed to the death.

Everyone experiences grief differently in their bereavement process. Although individual bereavement experiences vary, they share similar features and reactions. People bereaved by suicide, similarly to people bereaved by other types of death, experience general grief reactions such as shock, denial, sadness, confusion and anger. 2

Research has shown that in addition to these feelings, people bereaved by suicide may show higher levels of shame, responsibility, guilt, rejection, blame (self and/or others), personal and public stigma and trauma.

Prevention First (adapted): A Framework for Suicide Prevention



Cerel, J., Brown, M.M., Maple, M., Singleton, M., van de Venne, J., Moore, M. and Flaherty, C. (2019), How Many People Are Exposed to Suicide? Not Six. Suicide Life Threat Behav, 49: 529-534.


Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention & Postvention Australia (2017) Postvention Australia Guidelines: A resource for organisations and individuals providing services to people bereaved by suicide.

Postvention support services

There are a range of services available in Australia to support people who are bereaved by suicide. These include programs to provide direct support (telephone, in person or online counselling), presentations, webinars, training and workshops and research based activities.

In this section

Postvention Australia Guidelines

Postvention Australia Guidelines, a resource for organisations and individuals providing services to people bereaved by suicide