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Uniting for Suicide Postvention - Community

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TAPS | TAPS Trainings | About TAPS


Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)


Death by suicide leaves behind a wake of emotions and challenges that complicate an already painful grieving process. Many of us ask the questions: "Why did this happen?" We worry that our loved ones will be remembered for how they died instead of how they lived and served. However, death is not the defining feature of a life. Suicide loss survivors have a safe space within TAPS to remember, honor, and grieve their loved one's entire story. 

Special TAPS programming and resources provide gentle, understanding support as we work through the complicated emotions associated with this type of loss. TAPS suicide loss survivors have become a family who are walking this journey together and will welcome you with open arms. TAPS offers a range of resources, programs and events throughout the year that support all types of military loss. Suicide loss survivors are welcome to join any programming within TAPS. However, they are encouraged to start with programming that includes a focus on suicide loss specifically.

Suicide loss survivors may access a range of TAPS resources and programming by visiting this page on the TAPS.org website: https://www.taps.org/suicideloss

  TAPS Postvention Card

For more information about TAPS Postvention Model© and the full range of support the TAPS team offers, please view the following resources:
TAPS Postvention Card  |  TAPS Postvention Flyer

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TAPS Trainings


The following three trainings provide education on the unique experiences of healing after suicide loss. These trainings were funded by the NFL Foundation and produced in partnership with PsychArmor.


Training: Finding Stability After Suicide Loss

Host: PsychArmor (Made possible by the National Football League Foundation)
Run time: 10 minutes
Presenter: Kim Ruocco, MSW, Vice President of TAPS Suicide Prevention and Postvention
Description: “Finding Stability After Suicide Loss” explains that suicide loss survivors often find it hard to reach out for help, and the people in their lives are often unsure how to help. This experience is very common among the survivors served at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS. This was also the personal experience of the course narrator, Kim Ruocco, MSW. She is the surviving spouse of Marine Corps Maj. John Ruocco, and she serves as the Vice President of Suicide Prevention and Postvention at TAPS. Ruocco shares her story, and outlines strategies everyone can use to help a suicide survivor.


Training: Postvention: Healing After Suicide

Host: PsychArmor (Made possible by the National Football League Foundation)
Run time: 10 minutes
Presenter: Shauna Springer, PhD, Senior Director of TAPS Suicide Prevention and Postvention
Description: Postvention is a term unfamiliar to many people, yet it is a critical component of suicide prevention. Postvention refers to actions taken following a suicide that help promote healing and decrease risk in those exposed. Join Dr. Shauna Springer, the Senior Director of Suicide Prevention and Postvention Initiatives at Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, as she discusses postvention and why it is important, in “Postvention: Healing After Suicide.” TAPS has served thousands of survivors of suicide loss over the past decade, and in the process they have developed and refined a best-practice postvention model. In this course, Dr. Springer introduces learners to the three phases of this model, which include Stabilization, Grief Work and Post-Traumatic Growth.


Training: Grief and Trauma

Host: PsychArmor (Made possible by the National Football League Foundation)
Run time: 10 minutes
Presenter: Shauna Springer, PhD, Senior Director of TAPS Suicide Prevention and Postvention
Description: In “Grief and Trauma,” Dr. Shauna Springer explains that grief and trauma are different challenges -- and that they require different healing strategies. At the end of this course, the learner will understand symptoms common to both grief and trauma after suicide loss, describe why grief is often overlooked in clinical settings where Veterans and military families are served, and understand why it is important to treat trauma after suicide loss before treating grief.

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About TAPS


Over the last decade, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors has supported more than 13,500 survivors of military suicide loss by offering them hope, healing, and renewed opportunities for personal growth. TAPS recognizes that suicide grief is different, carrying with it a range of feelings like shame, blame, guilt, and anger as well as the damaging effects of things like trauma, rejection, abandonment, and crises of family and spirit. TAPS offers specialized programming that addresses the issues unique to this most devastating kind of loss.

The TAPS Suicide Postvention Model© is a three-phase approach to suicide grief that stabilizes survivors, units, and organizations in the immediate aftermath of a loss, then helps guide them onto a healthy journey of grieving, before finally moving them toward post-traumatic growth in a fully intentional way. We’ve learned from our work with thousands of survivors that those who have lost a loved one to suicide are uniquely poised to achieve post-traumatic growth, first by making meaning from their loss and, second, by using “lessons learned on the lookback” to effect change. The TAPS Suicide Postvention Model© has helped thousands of survivors do just that.

Learn more at https://www.taps.org/suicideloss.



If you are looking for more resources regarding the personal impact of suicide loss, check out the Community section of USPV.


If you are a medical or mental health provider who has lost someone to suicide (personally or professionally), check out the Providers section of USPV. 


If you are looking to start offering postvention in your workplace, check out the Workplace section of USPV.

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