During our first year at SCRR, we had multiple school sites, districts and counties ask us about suicide postvention. And this past year was heavy for so many: the combination of uncertainty, isolation, and prevalence of suicidal behaviors has heightened the importance of paying increased attention to how communities, especially school communities, can effectively recover and renew after a school community experiences a death by suicide death by respond when a suicide occurs (see “Further Context” below).
Because we at SCRR are about what happens after a crisis, we want to create space and place for this national conversation.
The Embracing & Expanding Postvention in/for Our Schools Community of Practice is open nationally to educators, youth advocates, mental health providers, crisis responders, school site leaders, and school mental health professionals to:
- Learn about suicide postvention- where the field is now, and where it can go (e.g., what does long term postvention look like? Should it even be called “postvention”?)
- Approach suicide postvention through grief sensitive, trauma informed, healing centered, and youth-focused work
- Collaboratively create content (and eventually a training) that could be used to train others that expands postvention beyond the first weeks after a death by suicide (containment) and for longer, more holistic impact (incorporating restorative circles, meaning making, and mourning)
- Center Black and Indigenous youth postvention needs, innovations, practices
- Provide an overview of important topics to support trauma-informed and culturally appropriate responses in school communities in suicide aftermath.
Together, we’ll establish shared definitions and present nuanced perspectives on how to provide suicide postvention in school settings.
Who can join? Who is this for?
- This community of practice is for anyone who supports student and staff mental health in school settings, state, district and county school administrators, student support services providers, and anyone interested.
- This will be a semi-open group, meaning that you do not have to attend every session in order to participate, but must be invited by SCRR or an existing CoP member to join.
- We do request that all participants attend the first session, which will establish common vocabulary, or watch a recording of that session prior to participating.
- Our intention with creating this structure is to allow for a brave space and some degree of sequential learning.
When and how often?
The Embracing & Expanding Postvention in/for Our Schools Community of Practice will meet monthly for 1.5 hour sessions starting September 23, 2021 through May 26, 2022.
We will convene for 8 sessions and are tentatively planning to meet on the fourth Thursday of each month from 1:30-3:00 pm PST / 4:30-6:00pm EST (view event in your time zone).
We invite you to join us at all 8 sessions; come to as many as you can!
Note: we are not meeting in December in order to honor anticipated school breaks.
What might our time together feel like?
Session topics are likely to cover, but are not limited to the following:
- Defining suicide postvention and its components (where is the field and where might it need to go to serve schools?
- Understanding suicide contagion and clusters
- Memorialization after suicide
- Panel: Postvention voices from the field
- Postvention policies for our school communities
- How does suicide open us to understanding harm and hurt?
- Panel: Culturally responsive and intersectional suicide postvention
- Postvention collaboration between students and educators
- Survivors of suicide: student and educator voices
- Postvention with non-fatal suicide
- Expanding current suicide prevention plans after recovery & renewal learning
Register by September 21
For more information
Please contact Alica Forneret, the SCRR Community of Practice Project Manager, for more information about this community of practice.
Faculty and Facilitators
Presenters for individual sessions will include others from the field with expertise. More details about this will be shared as they are confirmed.
Your co-facilitators and coordinators for this series will be:
Zeruiah Buchanan (she/her) has been the suicide prevention epidemiologist at AHCCCS and is transitioning into a new role as a doctoral student in the Epidemiology Department at University of Washington. Her former education includes psychology, Africana studies, community health education, epidemiology, and biostatistics. Her experience as a Black Woman in America and educational background has moved her to be an activist and advocate for marginalized communities that are often made invisible. It is a personal and professional goal for her to promote work surrounding mental health, health equity, and cultural humility. For the Embracing & Expanding Postvention in/for Our Schools Community of Practice, Zeruiah hopes to create a brave space for discussion and bidirectional learning.
Francesca Osuna (she/her) is currently a Field Coach with the School Crisis Recovery and Renewal (SCRR) Project and joined the project in 2020 through her work with Trauma Transformed, where she focuses on trauma-informed systems and has collaborated with county behavioral health, local school districts, and public health departments, among others. Prior to her work with SCRR, Francesca was a school social worker and was regularly called in to support students dealing with suicidal ideation. Before becoming a social worker, she was a crisis hotline volunteer and worked under a psychiatric epidemiologist who focuses on suicide prevention. As part of the Embracing & Expanding Postvention in/for Our Schools Community of Practice, Francesca is committed to uplifting community wisdom, prioritizing racial equity and destigmatizing mental health.