HEALTH

How community postvention tool kit helps communities after a suicide

Jul 5, 2022, 7:20 PM | Updated: Oct 10, 2022, 11:26 am

SALT LAKE CITY — How our communities respond after a suicide death matters and that’s why the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition created an online tool kit to help Utah communities respond after a suicide.

Suicide deaths can create a ripple effect that impacts loved ones and the broader community.

“How we respond, and how we talk about it is a really important aspect of postvention,” Carol Ruddell, Utah Department of Health and Human Services Suicide Prevention Administrator said.

Following a suicide death, it’s important to mourn the loss of a loved one, Ruddell said. Postvention is an organized response after a suicide to promote healing, ease other negative effects, and prevent suicide among people who are at high risk.

“Ultimately, I believe it saves lives,” Ruddell said. “Postvention after a suicide death is just as important, and really is a part of suicide prevention.”

The Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition released the Utah Community Postvention Toolkit. It guides communities in planning and responding safely.

“There’s this ripple effect when we have a suicide death. For every one suicide death we know there are about 130 people that can be affected by that one death,” Benee Larsen, prevention director with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Utah said.

Communities can use the tool kit to care for impacted, various members of the community from school kids to coworkers, or military veterans. Health and Human Services will put on webinars, and sit down with community leaders.

“When you have someone who dies within the community, making sure we’re not sharing the means of death, or sharing images of the death. But, instead, we’re providing hopeful messages, maybe a picture of the individual when they were happy,” Larsen said.

The tool includes a step-by-step process.

“Focus on the hopeful part of the individuals life,” Larsen said.

The tool kit is on the liveonutah.org website and anyone can use it to find help for their family or their community.

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Other resources

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Utah Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at Huntsman Mental Health Institute.

You can also text TALK to 741741 and parents, students, and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.

  • Parents, students, and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.
  • First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals, can chat with a crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app and members of the National Guard can access help through the SafeUTNG app.
  • For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call the Utah Warm Line at 1-833 SPEAKUT 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • At Huntsman Mental Health Institute, women can access maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  • LiveOnUtah.org, a campaign by the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition offers suicide prevention training and has resources for faith-based groups, youth, LGBTQ+, and Employers.

Other community-based organizations that provide suicide prevention services, support groups, mental health education, counseling services, and support:

Additional crisis hotlines

  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
  • National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

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How community postvention tool kit helps communities after a suicide