When suicide affects our community, Clackamas County provides support to encourage resilience, explore resources, and reduce risk among suicide loss survivors. We call this work Postvention, and it is provided by mental health professionals working at the county’s urgent mental health walk in clinic, Clackamas MHC.
What is Suicide Postvention?
Postvention is an organized response following a suicide that aims to reduce further suicide risk by identifying and supporting the emotional and mental health needs of the survivors.
What Postvention Support is Available?
The Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) and local chaplains are called to the scene after a suicide occurs to provide emotional first aid to families and other impacted individuals. They may offer referrals or resources, such as helping to choose a funeral home. The Medical Examiner will also discuss ongoing Postvention support with loss survivors.
Short- and Long-term Support
With information provided by the Medical Examiner or TIP, the Postvention Team at Clackamas MHC will contact identified survivors to facilitate any or all of the following:
- Exploring resources, including natural or community supports like suicide loss bereavement groups
- Offering no cost peer services and mental health treatment at Clackamas MHC
- Normalizing common grief responses to minimize complicated grief and guilt reactions
- Inquiring as to who else might need postvention contact
- Planning a future call to check in and provide additional support, especially around anniversary or other important dates
How do I access Postvention in Clackamas County?
If you or someone you are supporting identify as a suicide loss survivor, please contact the County’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ideally, you will provide the name(s) of the person(s) needing support, contact information and their relationship to the deceased.
For time sensitive needs or for immediate attention or support, please use our 24/7 Crisis and Support Line at 503-655-8585.
What is the Role of Community Partners?
In the event of a known or suspected suicide, Clackamas County asks community partners to communicate this information to the County’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator so that this crucial Postvention support can be offered.
Provides a broad range of resources including what is required information for a death certificate, a list of funeral homes, a checklist of activities following a death and 10 things to do and not do after a tragic event.
Offers a wide range of groups and resources for people of all ages who are grieving including activities and more to help kids ages 0 – 12 express their grief as well as information on death and bereavement for supporters of kids who are grieving. **Dougy Center often has a wait list.
Includes an overview of key considerations, general guidelines for action, do’s and don’ts around memorials, templates, and sample materials, all in an easily accessible format applicable to diverse populations and communities.
A Manager's Guide to Suicide Postvention in the Workplace: 10 Action Steps for Dealing with the Aftermath of Suicide
This guide provides clear steps for postvention in workplaces, including information for workplace leadership on how to respond immediately to a suicide, how to plan in the short-term for recovery and what long-term strategies to consider. It contains succinct procedures with checklists and flow charts and can be useful to managers at all levels.