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.)
Postvention Special Interest Group Co-Chair, Karl Andriessen reviews the postvention stream of the XXVII IASP World Congress, held in Oslo, Norway, September 24-29, 2013. See Collaborations with other Special Interest Groups or The Way Ahead.
Learn about the worrk of Dr Kari Dyregrov , IASP Farberow Award Recipient 2007.
Read about a new website, launched by the Slovene Center for Suicide Research that aims at undestanding suicide: Živ? Živ! (zivziv.si) (lit. Alive? Alive!;)
Beverly and Steve Weckstein share how they lost their daughter, Ruthann, to suicide in April, 2007, and how they were directed to the SOS (Survivors of Suicide) group. Read about their journey from survivors to supporters.
Outlines Postvention SIG Taskforce on Suicide Bereavement and Postvention Research developments since Oslo congress, including a short online survey, a discussion form and a Postvention Congress Task Force.
Details the Centre for Mental Health and Risk at the University of Manchester, England, is currently in the early stages of developing the first suicide bereavement research unit in the UK, being led by Dr. Sharon McDonnell who specialises in postvention research.
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The IASP Postvention Special Interest Group (SIG) Newsletter is also available on ISSUU.
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)