Scoping Review of Postvention for Mental Health Providers Following Patient Suicide

Kelly A. Daly, Anna Segura, Richard E. Heyman, Salomi Aladia, Amy M. Smith Slep

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: As suicides among military personnel continue to climb, we sought to determine best practices for supporting military mental health clinicians following patient suicide loss (i.e., postvention). Materials and Methods: We conducted a scoping review of the literature using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews guidelines. Our initial search of academic databases generated 2,374 studies, of which 122 were included in our final review. We categorized postvention recommendations based on the socioecological model (i.e., recommendations at the individual provider, supervisory/managerial, organizational, and discipline levels) and analyzed them using a narrative synthesizing approach. Results: Extracted recommendations (N = 358) comprised those at the provider (n = 94), supervisory/managerial (n = 90), organization (n = 105), and discipline (n = 69) levels. Conclusions: The literature converges on the need for formal postvention protocols that prioritize (1) training and education and (2) emotional and instrumental support for the clinician. Based on the scoped literature, we propose a simple postvention model for military mental health clinicians and recommend a controlled trial testing of its effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E90-E100
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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