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You are not alone.

Postvention is a collaborative approach to support individuals who have experienced a loss due to suicide.

The MKE L.O.S.S. Postvention Program is based on a nationally recognized effort to bring support to survivors of suicide loss. The team is present to offer comfort, resources, and hope to anyone impacted by suicide loss. Team members offer contact with others who have experienced a loss while helping to coordinate services and support within the community that is culturally responsive and ultimately healing.

Postvention Intro Component

What is postvention?

What is it?

Active: Direct outreach to suicide loss survivors
Supportive: For suicide loss survivors
Navigation: Referral to therapeutic services and psychoeducation
Consistent: Initial contact with follow-up for at least 1 year

What it is not

Passive: Individuals seek resources and support on their own

Support for attempt survivors

Therapeutic services

One-time support

“I was surprised to hear from the postvention coordinator, in a delightful way, almost magic. ”

- MKE L.O.S.S. Postvention recipient

Why postvention?

How many?

For one suicide, it is estimated that 135 people are impacted.

Over 50% of the US population has been bereaved by a single suicide.

Impact of Loss

Suicide loss survivors experience:

>Higher rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal thinking & behavior

>Prolonged grief

>Increased stigma & guilt

Grief & Bereavement

Because of stigma and other factors, individuals typically do not receive the care and support they need to process this type of loss.

Effects of trauma can also contribute to a delay in processing grief.


When support & resources are actively provided to individuals, positive things happen:

>Average time to receive mental health services decrease from about 4.5 years to about 34 days.

>Decrease in suicidal thoughts & behavior.

>Potential for post-traumatic growth (positive psychological changes)


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Publication List

Cerel, J., Brown, M.M., Maple, M., Singleton, M., van de Venne, J., Moore, M. and Flaherty, C. (2019), How many people are exposed to suicide? Not six. Suicide Life Threat Behav, 49: 529-534.

Maple, M., Poštuvan, V., & McDonnell, S. (2019). Progress in postvention: A call to a focused future to support those exposed to suicide [Editorial]. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 40(6), 379–382.

Pitman AL, Osborn DPJ, Rantell K, et al. Bereavement by suicide as a risk factor for suicide attempt: a cross-sectional national UK-wide study of 3432 young bereaved adults. BMJ Open 2016;6:e009948. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009948.

Pitman, A., Osborn, D., King, M., & Erlangsen, A. (2014). Effects of suicide bereavement on mental health and suicide risk. The lancet. Psychiatry, 1(1), 86–94.

Shear, K. M. (2015). Complicated grief. New England Journal of Medicine, 372(2), 153–160.

Jordan JR (2020) Lessons Learned: Forty years of clinical work with suicide loss survivors. Front. Psychol. 11:766. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00766.

Cerel, J., & Campbell, F. R. (2008). Suicide survivors seeking mental health services: A preliminary examination of the role of an active postvention model. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 38(1), 30–34.

Gehrmann, M., Dixon, S. D., Visser, V. S., & Griffin, M. (2020). Evaluating the outcomes for bereaved people supported by a community-based suicide bereavement service. Crisis.

Visser, V.S., Comans, T.A. and Scuffham, P.A. (2014), Evaluation of the effectiveness of a community-based crisis intervention program for people bereaved by suicide. J. Community Psychol., 42: 19-28.

Contact the Division of Suicide Research and Healing

We would love to chat with you about any of our research or programming! Contact us using the information below.

Sara Kohlbeck, PhD, MPH

(414) 955-7667

Tricia Monroe, MEd, CHES

Postvention Program Manager

Jacey Kant, BS

Research Program Coordinator