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Crisis. 2012;33(4):208-14. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000144.

Suicide clusters in young people: evidence for the effectiveness of postvention strategies.

Author information

  • 1Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Australia. gcox@unimelb.edu.au



Suicide clusters have commonly been documented in adolescents and young people.


The current review conducts a literature search in order to identify and evaluate postvention strategies that have been employed in response to suicide clusters in young people.


Online databases, gray literature, and Google were searched for relevant articles relating to postvention interventions following a suicide cluster in young people.


Few studies have formally documented response strategies to a suicide cluster in young people, and at present only one has been longitudinally evaluated. However, a number of strategies show promise, including: developing a community response plan; educational/psychological debriefings; providing both individual and group counseling to affected peers; screening high risk individuals; responsible media reporting of suicide clusters; and promotion of health recovery within the community to prevent further suicides.


There is a gap in formal evidence-based guidelines detailing appropriate postvention response strategies to suicide clusters in young people. The low-frequency nature of suicide clusters means that long-term systematic evaluation of response strategies is problematic. However, some broader suicide prevention strategies could help to inform future suicide cluster postvention responses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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