After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools

Date: 2011
(For resources, this is the publication date. For programs, this is the date posted.)


Type:  Toolkit
Author:  American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Publisher:  Education Development Center

This toolkit is designed to assist schools in the aftermath of a suicide (or other death) in the school community.

Developed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), in consultation with a diverse group of national experts, including school-based personnel, clinicians, researchers, and crisis response professionals, After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools is an online resource for schools facing the suicide death of a student or other member of the school community. The Toolkit incorporates relevant existing material and research findings as well as references, templates, and links to additional information and assistance. It is organized into the following brief chapters:

  • Introduction and Executive Summary
  • Get the Facts First
  • Crisis Response
  • Tools for Crisis Response
  • Helping Students Cope
  • Working with the Community
  • Memorialization
  • Social Media
  • Suicide Contagion
  • Bringing in Outside Help
  • Going Forward

    After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools is intended for use in a crisis. It is not intended to be a comprehensive curriculum on school-based postvention. While designed specifically to address the aftermath of suicide, schools may find the Toolkit useful following other deaths as well.


    Administrators and other school officials that use the Toolkit will have:

  1. Greater knowledge of expert recommendations for responding to a suicide in the school community.
  2. Access to tools and templates that will help organize the response to a suicide in the school community.

Implementation Essentials: 

  • In the aftermath of a suicide, it is important that school administrators and the crisis response team collaborate with community partners to develop a coordinated response to the death.
Populations:  Youth, Adolescents, Survivors of Suicide Loss
Settings:  Schools, Middle School, High School
Strategies:  Postvention