Postvention occurs in the aftermath of a student death by suicide. Some campuses have a protocol in place for this possibility, while many others do not. The Jed Foundation now offers postvention consulting services, helping campuses contend with factors such as leading listening sessions for frustrated students, determining whether to hold a memorial service and helping students process their grief.
“For us to be effective for them, we first need to understand what’s available to these communities,” Kurt Michael, the senior clinical director at JED, told Inside Higher Ed. “Every campus, every school community, is different, and we want to make sure that we’re customizing either that plan or that response process.”
Postvention procedures aim to support those who are grieving, lower the community’s anxiety and reduce the risk of suicide contagion, the publication reported. There’s also an effort to avoid “institutionalizing grief” or “making the suicide such an intrinsic part of the campus character or history that community members no longer feel safe,” they said.