Care & Support of People Affected by Suicide

Provide care and support to individuals
affected by suicide deaths and attempts.

Objective:   Promote healing, decrease stigma, and integrate those with lived experience into community prevention strategies.


Individuals & Families:

  • Educate people about the importance of communicating about suicide and the impact of suicide on family and community members.
  • Provide appropriate clinical care to individuals affected by a suicide attempt or bereaved by suicide, including trauma treatment and care for complicated grief.
  • Adopt language to speak about suicide that decreases stigma around suicide.

Non-profit, Community-Based, Faith-Based, and Businesses

  • Encourage the provision of peer and professional support for survivors of suicide attempts
    and loss.
  • Work with affected employees, to ensure a supportive process for them to return to work.
  • Assess, with affected employees, a supportive process for them in returning to work.
  • Develop guidelines for effective comprehensive support programs for individuals bereaved by suicide, and promote their full implementation.
  • Provide health care providers, first responders, and others with care and support when a patient under their care dies by suicide.  
  • Adopt, disseminate, implement, and evaluate guidelines for communities to respond effectively to suicide clusters and contagion within their cultural context, and support implementation with education, training, and consultation.
  • Educate funeral homes about the role they
    play in preventing further suicides in their communities by disseminating information about risk and resources for support.

Schools, Colleges, and Universities:

  • Encourage the provision of peer and professional support for mental health crisis.
  • Ensure protocols exist for the reintegration into the educational community of individuals affected by suicide attempts.


  • Provide colleagues with care and support when a patient under their care dies by suicide.
  • Assess patients affected by a suicide loss for suicidality and screen, and provide treatment and follow-up, when they are found to be at risk.
  • Reach out to patients affected by a suicide loss and assess their grieving process.
  • Provide continuing caring contact to all  patients/clients who have attempted suicide.

Policy and Systems:

  • Engage suicide attempt survivors in suicide prevention planning, including support services, treatment, community suicide prevention education, and the development of guidelines and protocols for suicide-attempt-survivor support groups.

About the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Vermont chapter

The grassroots work that AFSP does focuses on eliminating the loss of life from suicide by: delivering innovative prevention programs, educating the public about risk factors and warning signs, raising funds for suicide research and programs, and reaching out to those individuals who have lost someone to suicide.


AFSP brings together people from all backgrounds who want to prevent suicide in our communities including VT. Families and friends who have lost someone to suicide, vulnerable individuals, mental health professionals, clergy, educators, students, community/business leaders, and many others energize the VT chapter.


Contact Linda Livendale at the AFSP-VT for more information or go to –

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