Year: 1987 Source: General Hospital Psychiatry, v.9, no.3, (May 1987), p.189-197 SIEC No: 19901448

This article describes the postvention management of family members, patients, and staff in the critical period following the suicide of an inpatient. Bartel provides techniques for crisis management and containment in each of four characteristic stages of the aftermath: shock, recoil, posttrauma, and recovery. Specific approaches to these stages are addressed in practical terms. For example, in the posttraumatic phase, Bartels describes a progressive diminishment of feelings of depression & demoralization on the inpatient unit. The search for meaning is discussed, and a review of ward dynamics, policy, and structure to prevent suicide epidemics is outlined. Special considerations for the family survivor, in light of stigma, are also explained.