G. Kinman1, N. Greenberg2

1Birkbeck University of London, UK

2King’s College London, UK


‘Suicide postvention’ refers to the support measures taken after an unexpected death, typically within organisational settings. A colleague’s suicide can profoundly affect the wellbeing and functioning of other staff members, requiring a compassionate, supportive, and timely response. Until recently, little was known about the necessary actions following such an event and the most effective type of support.  This research synthesises current knowledge on suicide postvention to provide guidelines for occupational health practitioners and related professionals, applicable across different organisational settings.


Existing suicide postvention frameworks were reviewed, followed by a thematic content analysis that identified effective strategies and support measures for individuals impacted by the suicide of a colleague.  Subsequently, the Delphi method gathered gather and refine insights and opinions from researchers and practitioners working in the ‘postvention space’ to inform a set of evidence-informed guidelines.


The research highlighted the importance of organisational preparedness for suicide postvention, while emphasising the need for a flexible, sensitive and timely approach.  Key actions identified included establishing a trained and resourced postvention capability proactively, providing colleagues with adequate time and space to process the event, implementing a communication protocol to ensure clear and consistent messages, and offering ongoing opportunities for accessing support. The importance of normalising and destigmatising help-seeking was considered particularly important.


It is anticipated that these guidelines will help foster a supportive and compassionate workplace environment that responds effectively to the aftermath of a colleague’s suicide to help people and organisations recover.

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