When a colleague dies by suicide, support is needed to help those left behind. Veterinarians who require postvention assistance can contact their VMA EAP and ask if there is a counsellor with expertise in grief and trauma available to facilitate a group debrief. Debriefs are helpful as they are an opportunity to unload together, ask questions, and learn about stress reactions and community resources. The resources listed below can also be helpful.
After A Suicide: A Guide for Veterinary Workplaces
This guide was created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and released in partnership with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA), and the Veterinary Medical Association Executives (VMAE). The guide lists out short-term, mid-term and long-term steps, outlines helpful tools and templates including communication. https://www.avma.org/sites/default/files/2020-09/After-a-Suicide-A-Guide-for-Veterinary-Workplaces.pdf
The Workplace and Suicide Prevention
This toolkit from the Centre for Suicide Prevention includes the steps to take should a suicide occur in a workplace: https://www.suicideinfo.ca/resource/workplace-suicide-prevention/. The kit also lists out suggestions on training, workshops and resources.
Suicide Postvention Resource for Canadian Communities
The Mental Health Commission of Canada has a catalogue of available resources and programs targeted towards postvention after a suicide loss. The catalogue is accessible here: https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/wp-content/uploads/drupal/2021-01/Postvention_Catalogue_eng.pdf
Talk Suicide Canada is the national crisis line available 24 hours a day at 1-833-456-4566 https://talksuicide.ca/