Essential questions on suicide bereavement and postvention

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2012 Jan;9(1):24-32. doi: 10.3390/ijerph9010024. Epub 2011 Dec 27.


During the past decades public and research interest in postvention, i.e., support for families and communities after a suicide, has increased. However, the postvention field is still facing a number of important challenges and questions. This article aims to discuss a series of essential issues on suicide bereavement and postvention, regarding the current state of the art and future developments. Who is a suicide survivor and how many suicide survivors are there? Is suicide bereavement different from other types of bereavement? What are the needs of suicide survivors and what is postvention from a clinical perspective and from a public health perspective? Can postvention be prevention? With this last question, the article concludes with a series of recommendations in order to strengthen the potential of postvention as prevention.

Keywords: bereavement; policy; postvention; prevention; public health; suicide.

MeSH terms

  • Bereavement*
  • Humans
  • Public Health
  • Suicide*