Suicide postvention toolkit

In September 2022, Oscar Kilo launched a new toolkit that has been developed in collaboration with Samaritans to help senior leadership in police forces support staff after the loss of a colleague to suicide. 

How it works

Postvention refers to the actions taken to provide support after someone dies by suicide. Evidence shows that people who have been bereaved or affected by suicide are almost three times more at risk of suicidal ideation.  

1 It is estimated that as many as 1 in 10 people attempt suicide after losing someone to suicide and 8% drop out of work or education. 2 The impact of a suicide is far-reaching and up to 135 people can be affected by one death by suicide. 3

Bereavement by suicide is complicated and unpredictable. Therefore, it is important to have a clear and supportive postvention plan in place in workplaces and all other environments where people are in close contact, such as schools and colleges.

Following on from the agreement of a suicide prevention consensus statement earlier this year, the toolkit is the first step in the guidance being made available to forces to help manage impact and provide support around this complex and sensitive subject.

In addition to this, Oscar Kilo will be providing training for senior leaders to help familiarise them with the toolkit and will reference it in the Blue Light Wellbeing Framework to assist with embedding this as an approach across the service.

The toolkit may also be adapted to support staff who lose a family member or close friend outside the force to suicide and is available for people to access directly from this website.

Top tips for implementation

Tip 1
Appoint a senior lead to oversee the development of the postvention plan for example ACC or above, head of people.
Tip 2
Get the right people around the table to develop your postvention plan, including federation, unions and networks.
Tip 3
Ensure the plan is communicated across the organisation, ensuring front line supervisors are aware of the support available.
Budget required


Ease of implementation


Impact on investigators



1 Hill, N., Robinson, J., Pirkis, J., Andriessen, K., Krysinska, K., & Payne, A. et al. (2020). Association of suicidal behavior with exposure to suicide and suicide attempt: A systematic review and multilevel meta-analysis. PLOS Medicine, 17(3), e1003074. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003074

3 Pitman, A. L., Osborn, D. P. J., Rantell, K., & King, M. B. (2016). Bereavement by suicide as a risk factor for suicide attempt: a crosssectional national UK-wide study of 3432 young bereaved adults. BMJ Open, 6 (1), ARTN e009948. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009948

3 Cerel, J. et al. (2018). How many people are exposed to suicide? Not six. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviour. DOI: 10.1111/sltb.12450