Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work

First Advisor

Brij Mohan


Those who are significantly impacted by the death of someone to suicide are known as survivors of suicide. This study examined two groups of suicide survivors, one group received an active postvention model (APM), and the other group received no active postvention model. The study utilized both t-test and chi-square to compare the groups based on key demographic characteristics. The study compared model of postvention (active versus passive) for the time elapsed between the suicide and the survivors seeking treatment. The two groups studied were survivors who sought treatment at a well established metropolitan crisis intervention center in the southern United States between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 2000. The experimental group received an active postvention and the control group was survivors who came to the center but did not receive an active postvention. The demographic information was obtained from the assessment forms completed by crisis center representatives conducting interviews with members of both groups of survivors. The study used data taken from the records of 126 subjects, experimental group (n = 50) and control group (n = 76). The 126 subjects represent the entire population of survivors of suicide seeking treatment at that particular crisis center during the two-year period (1999--2000) of examination. The research examined the impact that postvention services (an organized team response to the bereaved following suicide) had as an influence on the length of time elapsed before survivors of suicide sought treatment. The significant impact suicide can have on survivors has been discussed and reviewed in the literature (McIntosh, 1993), however little is known about the impact of postvention services when delivered to survivors in a timely manner. The postvention responders were trained in crisis intervention, critical incidence stress debriefing, and in facilitating survivor grief recovery. Included in that group were both mental health workers and survivors of suicide. The members of the postvention team who are survivors of suicide had previously participated in the survivor resources that they suggested during each postvention. The research employed bivariate analysis in the research design with a longitudinal component.