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Crisis. 1996;17(3):108-15.

Negative effects of a school suicide postvention program--a case example.

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  • 1University of Illinois, Jane Addams College of Social Work, Chicago 60607 USA.


In recent years, a general consensus has emerged regarding postvention activities in schools following completed suicides of teenagers. In this case study, standard postvention activities were carried out in a middle school after two youths from the same neighborhood committed suicide 3 months apart. Soon thereafter, a substantial increase in suicidal talk, threats, and attempts took place. Inadvertently, some of the postvention activities appeared to contribute to the romanticization and glorification of the deaths. Changes in postvention practices were made in order to defuse the atmosphere of "romantic tragedy," which in turn led to a decrease in suicidal behavior.

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