Postvention

For Professionals

* Clark, Sheila (1995). After suicide: Help for the bereaved. Melbourne: Michelle Anderson Publishing.

“This is an extremely valuable book which will be of great support and assistance to those who are bereaved through the tragedy of suicide. It shows practical common sense and careful guidelines to help people find their way through this time. This book would be of great value to general practitioners and all those who may be involved in providing support and care for bereaved people following a suicide.”

Prof. Beverley Raphael & Cvinar, Jacqueline G. (2005). “Do suicide survivors suffer social stigma: A review of the literature” Perspectives in Psychiatric Care 41, 1, pp 14-21.

Discusses how bereavement through suicide is different from natural loss and presents special challenges to health care providers. The psychological impact is heightened by the social stigma that is attached to death by suicide.

Pietila, M. (2002). “Support groups: A psychological or social device for suicide bereavement?”. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 30, pp. 401-414.

Excellent article highlighting the cultural and moral specificity of how we grieve. Suggests that particular types of grieving are normalised or promoted, and that other forms are disavowed. This is particularly applicable to how practitioners may feel able to grieve, and the gender specificity of which types of grieving are publicly possible. Suggests that there is a gap between the utility of support groups as a shared space of understood meaning, and the prohibition of certain types of public grief.

* Talbot, Kay (2002). What forever means after the death of a child: Transcending the trauma, living with the loss. New York: Brunner-Routledge.

“[This book] builds on empirical and qualitative research and gives examples of what helps and what hinders bereaved parents as their grief and loss evolve. Talbot encourages clinicians to help parents reframe their role as the child’s biographer, through continuing rather than breaking the bond with their deceased child. Examples demonstrate how bereaved parents reconstruct personal identity, resolve spiritual and existential crises, reach out to help others, and create productive futures that honour their children and provide new meaning to their lives.”

* Walsh, Froma & McGoldrick, Monica (Eds) (2004). Living beyond loss: Death in the family 2nd Edition. New York & London: W.W. Norton & Company.

“Chapters by leading authorities reveal how the family response to loss affects all members and their relationships across the life cycle and the generations. New chapters address such topics as spirituality, gender issues, suicide and other traumatic deaths, unacknowledged and stigmatized losses, and resilience-based approaches to family and community recovery from major disaster.”

* Wastell, Colin (2005). Understanding trauma and emotion: Dealing with trauma using an emotion-focused approach. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

“Wastell’s approach is grounded in practical treatment and the way emotion-focused therapy can be used to benefit the therapist and client. Using extensive case studies and making clear links between theory and practice, Wastell presents an innovative practice manual for the counsellor and psychologist interested both in trauma treatment and human emotion. These principles for understanding trauma will also assist health professionals, including nurses, doctors, ambulance officers, social workers, religious leaders, emergency services workers and police officers, to help their clients.”

Wilson, A. & Clark, S. (2005). South Australian Suicide Postvention Project, Report to Mental Health Services Department of Health, University of Adelaide, September 2005 http://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/2440/24871/1/South_Australian_ Suicide_Postvention_Report.pdf

“The Project’s purpose was to examine current approaches to postvention for those bereaved through suicide in metropolitan Adelaide from the perspective of consumers, service providers and organisations. [It includes] a review of published and unpublished literature and research from both Australian and international contexts. One of the most salient features of this research was the emphasis placed on ensuring that research data, results and conclusions were grounded in the experiences, beliefs and ideas of the bereaved, service providers and organisations.”

* Worden, J. William (2003). Grief counselling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner 3rd Edition. Hove & New York: Brunner-Routledge.

“The 3rd Edition of Grief counselling and grief therapy provides counselling techniques to help identify and treat the grief of the bereaved. This updated version incorporates: A refined basic model of mourning, including not only the Tasks of Mourning but also the Mediators of Mourning Information on special types of mourning including complicated grief, children’s violent death, grief and the elderly, and anticipatory grief The use of dreams in grief work.”

For Consumers

* Bernstein, Judith R. (1997). When the bough breaks: Forever after the death of a son or daughter. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing.

“…a poignant and sensitive book that offers bereaved parents the comfort of learning how others have navigated this rutted road… With great honesty and empathy, it acknowledges that no family ever ‘recovers’ from this tragedy, but rather adapts to a life irretrievably altered.”

* Bruce, Elizabeth J. & Schultz, Cynthia L. (2004). Through loss. Victoria, Australia: ACER Press.

“Through loss explains the grieving process: what it involves; where it may sometimes take you; ways you can develop to deal with some of its strength, intensity and relentlessness; ways of staying connected with other people; ways of living with the loss and grief that continues in the forefront of minds or as a backdrop to lives, or sometimes both.”

* Clark, Sheila (1995). After suicide: Help for the bereaved. Melbourne: Michelle Anderson Publishing

“This is an extremely valuable book which will be of great support and assistance to those who are bereaved through the tragedy of suicide. It shows practical common sense and careful guidelines to help people find their way through this time. This book would be of great value to general practitioners and all those who may be involved in providing support and care for bereaved people following a suicide.” (Prof. Beverley Raphael)

* Orrell, Herb (2003). Unspeakable: The truth about grief. Houston, Texas: Bayou Publishing.

“By offering the first new perspective on grieving in more than thirty years, author Herb Orrell challenges everything we’ve been led to believe about the grieving process. Breathtakingly honest and insightful, he shows us grief the way it really is and healing in a way that’s finally possible. Through his own journey and the stories of those he’s counseled, you begin to see the often surprising ways each of us can make peace with our pain.”

* Robinson, Rita (2001). Survivors of suicide. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books.

“A helping guide for family and friends left behind when a loved one commits suicide. … It dispels the myths surrounding suicide, based on the latest research and interviews with leading medical experts, as well as with family and friends who have survived the suicide deaths of loved ones, and who offer support, knowledge, and comfort to other survivors.”

* Rosenbloom, Dena & Williams, Mary Beth (1999). Life after trauma: A workbook for healing. New York: The Guilford Press.

“Filled with comforting activities, relaxation techniques, and self-evaluation questionnaires, the book explains how and why trauma can throw you for a loop and guides you toward developing inner resources for coping, self-understanding, and self-care.”

* Walsh, Froma & McGoldrick, Monica (Eds) (2004). Living beyond loss: Death in the family 2nd Edition. New York & London: W.W. Norton & Company.

“Chapters by leading authorities reveal how the family response to loss affects all members and their relationships across the life cycle and the generations. New chapters address such topics as spirituality, gender issues, suicide and other traumatic deaths, unacknowledged and stigmatized losses, and resilience-based approaches to family and community recovery from major disaster.”

* Wolfelt, Alan D. (2003). Understanding your grief: Ten essential touchstones for finding hope and healing your heart. Fort Collins, Colorado: Companion Press.

“When someone you love dies, it can be hard to understand your often complex – and painful – thoughts and feelings. This compassionate guide … will help you understand the normal and necessary journey we call grief.”

Videos

Messages of hope: An insight into the lives of the bereaved. Produced by the Bereaved Through Suicide Support Group, Adelaide.

A series of interviews with people bereaved through suicide giving an insight into their thoughts, feelings and hopes