ERIC Number: ED332127
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Adolescent Suicide Postvention in Schools: Managing Grief of Peer Survivors.
Mauk, Gary W.
During 1988 there were 4,929 deaths by suicide among persons 15 to 24 years of age in the United States, making suicide the third leading cause of death in this age group, following accidents and homicide. Adolescent suicide is a particularly toxic form of death for the peers who are left behind. A "survivor of suicide" is defined as someone who is left behind to deal with the psychological distress and daily turmoil in the aftermath of a suicide. Adolescent survivors of suicide suffer in at least three ways: (1) they are grieving for someone who died; (2) they are suffering from a traumatic experience--in fact they are victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; and (3) they are socially obstructed from talking about suicide, thereby impeding healing that comes with normal mourning. The death of an adolescent by suicide presents a unique opportunity for healing and nurturance, particularly within the school setting. Time-limited group postvention with peer survivors of an adolescent suicide is a promising practice for helping survivors to process adequately the anger, guilt, and shame which can dominate their lives. Postvention is that process after a suicide, during which an individual and/or a family works toward emotional and psychological recovery and readjustment to healthy living. It includes the provisions of interventions combining education and treatment to prevent bereavement complications for individuals left behind. (Author/BHK)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Suicide Survivors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (71st, San Francisco, CA, April 25-28, 1991).