top of page

"Postvention IS Prevention"

Overview of "Circular Model of Suicide Reduction" by Dr. Frank Campbell


Click the name of any stage in the process to learn more about how it fits in to the big picture, or simply scroll down to read all.

The arrows of this model represent services that are unique to that section of suicide reduction. When all arrows exist in a community then it is likely to reduce the impact suicide may have on all those inside these inter related services. Click on each arrow for a brief example of how each area of services can reduce suicide and reduce the need in the next section for services in order to have a tipping point toward reduced suicide in that community. The services described are not intended to be all that are known or needed in a given situation, but representative of how such services can be joined together in this model to contain and reduce suicide for those living in that community.



This section would include those programs that provide awareness on suicide and help those attending programs of prevention gain insights into the basic facts of suicide along with history of suicidology as a field of practice. Programs that address risk factors and means restriction efforts would also be included.

Some of the programs available are:



Most people who are asked, "Who would you tell if you were having thoughts of suicide? " will pick an informal resource such as a close friend, co-worker, or family member before selecting a mental health service provider. There are few suicide intervention training programs for mental health caregivers. Professional training including Psychiatry fall short in this area of training due to limited space in curriculums that are competing to provide basic competencies in mental health professional training.

Some of the programs available are:



These have been based on the concepts of symptom reduction in the past. Often, suicide was not a topic for examination by mental health providers due to lack of training in the field of suicidology by their professional programs, who expected on site supervision and field training to support the limited class room knowledge that was being provided. Many who take the risk to seek help end up with no one to help them stay safe in the future, or vouch that they are ready to return to duty, work, or the role they were in prior to seeking that help.


If we can begin to roll out post-intervention training, show high risk groups that suicide is not a forever appointment (foregone conclusion), and - like other illnesses - recovery and growth are possible, we will have succeeded in reducing the need for postvention services (bereaved by suicide numbers will go down as well).



Dr. Ed Shneidman once said that the struggle with Postvention is that those who attempt and live and those bereaved are both placed in this section but have unique and very different needs. That is why Dr. Campbell suggests post-intervention be designated for those who live after an attempt and postvention (no hyphen) be given to those bereaved by suicide.

The devastation and danger the bereaved by suicide face in the aftermath of such a death is impossible to describe and is unique to each person. The complicated bereavement process is often without help from anyone who is skilled in negotiating their journey, and they routinely deal with stigma from this cause of death.

The L.O.S.S. Team model is a way to encounter survivors of suicide as soon as possible so they would know:

  1. They are not alone

  2. Where help is available in their community that other survivors of suicide have benefited from.


The L.O.S.S. Team model grew out of this desire and today is unique to each community where it has been adopted. L.O.S.S. stands for Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors and the team is made up primarily of those who have had a loss and got help and now want to be a resource to the newly bereaved. More information on this site can give the reader deeper appreciation of the effectiveness of this concept.

Adapted from the work of Dr. Frank Campbell

bottom of page