Principles of Postvention: Applications to Suicide and Trauma in Schools

June, 1998

This article defines concepts such as post-traumatic stress, suicide and postvention and provides some basic guiding principles for dealing with these things in the context of schools.


The authors define such concepts as posttraumatic stress, suicide, & postvention and then, from the classical & current literature as well as their experience in schools & communities, explicate some basic guiding principles. These principles are presented as heuristic; there is no “cookbook” to address the complexity of traumatic, including suicidal, effects. It is concluded that there have been past errors in the field & that strong efforts are needed in evaluation and research.

Full Reference

Leenaars AA and Wenckstern S. Principles of postvention: Applications to suicide and trauma in schools. Death Studies 1998; 22: 357.

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