Support after a suicide: postvention guidance for veterinary workplaces

After a veterinary suicide, families and close friends, workplaces and communities need support.

Suicide postvention is the response and provision of support after a suicide.
It aims to support recovery, and to prevent further adverse outcomes in the aftermath including prevention of further deaths by suicide.

Vetlife has been providing postvention support to the veterinary community since 2009, combining public health and crisis management approaches with lived and peer experience.
This guidance is intended for people who have been affected by the suicide of a veterinary professional, people who support those who have been affected, and for managers and leaders in veterinary workplaces who are working to prevent suicide.

The guidance has information about suicide bereavement, and suicide postvention. It focuses on support including responses to suicide loss and who can help. It particularly examines veterinary workplace considerations after a suicide including immediate aftermath and longer term. It also covers communication, including talking both with colleagues and clients, and publicly on social media and elsewhere. It finishes with a checklist of actions for veterinary workplaces affected by suicide considering immediate, short term, and ongoing actions for support and postvention.

As well as providing this guidance, Vetlife can provide individualised support to practices and individuals who have experienced a suicide through our Postvention Service. If you are a UK veterinary professional who has been affected by suicide or wants support for a veterinary workplace, please contact 0303 040 2551.

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