IASP Special Interest Group - Postvention (Suicide Bereavement)
The Postvention Task Force was reorganised by the IASP Board and a Special Interest Group was proposed at the XXVI IASP World Congress in Beijing, China in September 2011. The Special Interest Groups offer an umbrella opportunity for the community for the IASP community of members, researchers, professionals, lay people and volunteers to focus deeply on a specific aspect of suicide and suicide prevention. The Special Interest Group also serves as an umbrella for Task Forces. This group has particular focus on postvention - suicide bereavement and is chaired by Karl Andriessen (Belgium) and co-chaired by Sean McCarthy (Ireland). In addition, a recent Postvention Taskforce has been established to provide Postvention symposia/workshops at IASP Conferences. This Taskforce is chaired by John Peters (England). A Postvention Newsletter Task Force is also to be established and interested persons are invites to contact Karl Andriessen for further information.
Preventing Suicide - How to Start a Survivors' Group (IASP/WHO publication)
Suicide Bereavement (Postvention) - Survivor Guides (Offers a listing of guides and information relating to suicide bereavement for suicide survivors.)
Joe Ferns, Executive Director of Policy, Research & Development discusses the Samaritans and their efforts in tackling suicides on the railway in the United Kingdom. Learn about Network Rail Partnership, emotional support outside of the Branch, training courses for railway staff, and outreach with community health and mental health services.
Martin Ryan (Counsellor, Support After Suicide), Rebecca Lister (Animateur) and Louise Flynn (Manager, Support After Suicide) pen an article entitled, "A voice for those bereaved by suicide; The "Nothing Prepared Me for This," a Melbourne, Australia, writing and performance project involving the bereaved that deals with the shame and stigma associated with suicide. Learn about workshops held and evaluations carried out.
Gry Lunde reports about the Norwegian Organization for Suicide Bereaved, LEVE, and its efforts in working with young suicide bereaved people through establishing and running youth camps. Three camps were held which included more than 40 participants between the ages of 18 and 33 years. The project has had good media coverage, and in 2013, some of the project youth met with the Minister of Health and the Norwegian Crown Prince and Princess.
Christie Toribara introduces a free new resource called "Grieving Resource -a Guide to Books and Other References," published by SMILE (Students Mastering Important Life-Skills Education), a non-profit educational organization dedicated to providing children and young people with life-skills needed to cope adquately with the challenges they will face throughout their lives. View current projects.
View Upcoming Events and the Postvention Special Interest Group (SIG) contact details.
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Co-Chair and contact person: Karl Andriessen
p/a Tele-Help Federation (Tele-Onthaal)
9000 Gent, Belgium
Tel: + 32 9 220 8292
Fax: + 32 9 220 6664
Karl Andriessen (MSuicidology) is a staff member at the Federation of Tele-Help Centres (Tele-Onthaal) in Flanders-Belgium where he facilitates suicide prevention and postvention training and peer-supervision for staff members and volunteers. He is the previous Coordinator of the Suicide Prevention Program of the Mental Health Centres in Flanders-Belgium. This program aims to improve the care that is provided to suicidal people, in Mental Health Centres and in other community resources. In addition, he was a member of the consortium that prepared the December 2011 Flemish Health Conference to launch the updated governmental Action Plan for the Prevention of Suicide.
He is a past Director of the Flemish Suicide Prevention Centre, where he started to work in 1988. Amongst other projects, he led the Belgian national study (2000-1) on the needs of suicide survivors and suicide bereavement service delivery. He was a co-founder and a Vice-Chair of the Flemish Working Group of Suicide Survivors (2000-6), and he convened the 1st International Suicide Postvention Seminar on 8 September 2006, in Portoroz, Slovenia. He is a recipient of the IASP 2005 Farberow Postvention Award.
Co-Chair: Sean McCarthy
Regional Suicide Resource Officer
Front Block, St Patrick's Hospital
John's Hill, Waterford
Tel: 00 353 51 874013
Sean currently works with the Health Service Executive in Ireland as a Regional Suicide Resource Officer. He is responsible for the implementation of recommendations contained within the Irish National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention 'Reach Out', at a regional level. These recommendations encompass suicide prevention at the levels of prevention, intervention and postvention. He was a member of the steering committee that developed the national strategy and also contributed to the suicide prevention strand of the national mental health strategy "a vision for change". He has worked in the field of suicidology since 1998.
For a number of years he was seconded to Console (www.console.ie) as their Chief Executive Officer. Console is the leading national suicide bereavement support organisation in Ireland and provides one to one counselling, group support, child psychotherapy services alongside telephone support for the bereaved and those at risk of suicide or suicidal behaviour. During his time there he was responsible for the development of national standards for bereavement support organisations operating in Ireland. This work was commissioned by the National Office for Suicide Prevention.
List of Members (Password required)
Minutes (Password required)
On September 15, 2011, some of the world's leading experts in suicide crisis response gathered together to explore some of the difficult aspects in "postvention" (what we do after a suicide to provide psychological first aid and minimizing the tragic impact in individuals and communities). In this video representatives from Australia, Thailand, Slovenia, New Zealand, UK, Japan, Belgium, and the USA discuss some of the goals and strategies of postvention work that appear to sometimes work against each other or cause confusion. This conversation was part of the International Association of Suicide Prevention's Annual Congress held in Beijing, China.
Tensions in Postvention Part I: How Do We Honor Loss While Preventing Contagion After Suicide?
Aftermath of Suicide Tensions in Postvention
Andriessen K: Suicide survivors activities: an international perspective
Andriessen K: How to increase suicide survivor support? Experiences from the national survivor programme in Flanders - Belgium (pdf)
2nd International Suicide Postvention Seminar 28th August 2007 (pdf) - Killarney, Ireland
Grad O: Guidelines to Assist Clinical Staff After the Suicide of a Patient (pdf)