Postvention in Action

The International Handbook of Suicide Bereavement Support

Edited by: Karl Andriessen, Karolina Krysinska, Onja Grad

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Postvention in Action (PDF & EPUB)
ISBN: 9781616764937
2017, xviii/422 pages
Excluding tax
Print edition
Postvention in Action
ISBN: 9780889374935
2017, xviii/424 pages
Excluding tax

A unique and comprehensive handbook presenting the state of the art in suicide bereavement support

Suicide is not merely the act of an individual; it always has an effect on others and can even increase the risk of suicide in the bereaved. The International Association for Suicide Prevention, the World Health Organisation, and others have recognized postvention as an important strategy for suicide prevention. This unique and comprehensive handbook, authored by nearly 100 international experts, including researchers, clinicians, support group facilitators, and survivors, presents the state of the art in suicide bereavement support.

The first part examines the key concepts and the processes that the bereaved experience and illustrates them with illuminating clinical vignettes. The second and third parts look in detail at suicide bereavement support in all the relevant settings (including general practices, the workplace, online and many others) as well as in specific groups (such as health care workers).

In the concluding section, the support provided for those bereaved by suicide in no less than 23 countries is explored in detail, showing that postvention is becoming a worldwide strategy for suicide prevention. These chapters provide useful lessons and inspiration for extending and improving postvention in new and existing areas. This unique handbook is thus essential reading for anyone involved in suicide prevention or postvention research and practice.

From the reviews

"Suicide loss is often a devastating and traumatic experience. Survivors often find themselves in great distress, but lacking avenues where they can receive understanding, validation, and support. This wonderfully comprehensive and eminently readable book addresses this need, integrating the expertise of nearly 100 international authors with a compassionate understanding of the experience of those bereaved by suicide. It brings both breadth and depth to a topic that is rarely addressed and can help readers worldwide how to optimally provide support to suicide-bereaved individuals in a variety of settings and contexts."
Nina J. Gutin, CA, USA, in Omega – Journal of Death and Dying, (2018), 78(2)

"I can warmly recommend this book to anyone who encounters suicide-bereaved individuals, professionally or as a layperson. Its scientific grounding and readable language are appealing. The inclusion of both quantitative and qualitative research makes for a nuanced perspective that is unusual but much needed. The handbook presents the state-of-art of suicide bereavement support, and will be of great value for the clinician, researcher, lecturer, and policymaker who wishes to be updated on postvention research and practice. [It] provides a comprehensive overview of suicide postvention today, including current knowledge and implications for suicide bereavement support in diverse settings and populations."
Pernilla Omérov, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Health Care Sciences, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Stockholm, Sweden, in the News Bulletin of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, 2018

"Across the world’s widely varying suicide support programs, one theme is constant—the need for community. Each chapter in this volume, in its own way, highlights the essential roles that meaning making, story, and dialogue play in human healing and the importance of providing social contexts in which people can share their values and emotional experiences."
Donald R. Marks, assistant professor in the department of advanced studies in psychology, Kean University, Union, NJ, and Kelsey Edwards, doctoral student in the Combined School and Clinical Psychology program, Kean University, Union, NJ, in PsycCRITIQUES, vol. 62, 2017

"Almost 100 experts, including Australians, have contributed to this unique resource.The book begins with key concepts experienced by people bereaved by suicide, and concludes by exploring support in 23 countries."
Greg Austin, Professor in the Australian Centre for Cyber Security, University of New South Wales, Canberra, in UNSW Magazine, August 2017

"Suicide postvention is the support of those left behind after a suicide. This approach was developed by Edwin Shneidman and Norman Farberow, pioneers of suicide prevention. I think they would be cheering for this book which carries on their work.
Edited by Karl Andriessen, Karolina Krysinska and Onja T.Grad, contemporary leaders in postvention and suicide bereavement research, it’s satisfyingly solid from an academic perspective, yet very readable, uniting thought and research with a heart that brings balance, warmth and understanding, a perspective that invites a reader into wanting to know more.
This book holds a wealth of information that supports goals related to developing effective postvention supports. It’s informative and inspiring, it discusses what’s possible, what works and why, while noting limitations and sizable gaps in the research. It prompts action.
There’s a structured flow to the text, with readings grouped thematically. Part 1 looks at current knowledge and what this implies for support. Part 2 covers suicide bereavement support in different settings, while parts 3 and 4 look at different populations and countries.
Policy-makers, researchers, clinicians, people working in this area, bereaved, counsellors, students, those simply wanting to learn more – use this book, read it, dip in and out as you need to. It inspires. It educates. It leads. It’s terrific."

Virginia Brooks, Community Engagement & Health Promotion Officer, Mental Health Foundation, at

"This comprehensive handbook on suicide bereavement sets the standard for addressing postvention. [It] is a helpful read in an area of utmost importance that is lacking books of this caliber [and] a great help to anyone dealing with the aftermath of a suicide of family member, friend, or a patient. It should be in the libraries of hospitals, churches, therapy offices, and schools as a reference for individuals struggling with the death of a loved one."
Aaron Plattner, MD, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, in Doody's Book Reviews, July 2017

Praise for the book

“The editors of this volume, leading figures in research on suicide bereavement and postvention, have gathered together all of the significant contemporary contributors to the field to compile a comprehensive overview that will be valuable as a reference for researchers and as a practical guide for clinicians. Norman Farberow and other early influential pioneers in this field would be delighted with the result!”
Robert D. Goldney, AO, MD, FRCPsych, FRANZCP; Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Adelaide, Australia; Past-President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)

“This inspirational book combines science and humanity superbly. It provides a comprehensive overview of evidence for effective postvention, written by experienced researchers from around the world with empathy for those left behind by suicide. It is a must-read for everyone involved in suicide bereavement and prevention.”
Lakshmi Vijayakumar, PhD, FRCPsych (Hon.), Founder of SNEHA Suicide Prevention Centre, India; Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Voluntary Health Services, Chennai, India; Honorary Associate Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia

"This book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and helping people bereaved by suicide. It is comprehensive and describes evidence-based best practices from around the world."
Brian Mishara, PhD, Director of the Centre for Research and Intervention on Suicide and Euthanasia; Professor of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

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