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Providers as Suicide Loss Survivors | Managing Suicide Loss | Additional Resources




Throughout the course of their career, about one-quarter to one-half of mental health providers will experience the loss of a patient to suicide. Despite the fact that provider suicide loss is a common professional experience, providers often report a lack of comprehensive suicide postvention support.

If you are a VA provider, please visit the VA’s Postvention SharePoint @


 Losing a Patient to Suicide


When providers lose a patient to suicide, they are affected by the loss both personally and professionally. Suicide loss can affect providers’ professional identities, relationships with colleagues, and clinical work. The phenomenon of experiencing personal AND professional impacts is called twin bereavement. Check out the following graphic to learn more.
Download PDF of Losing a Patient to Suicide: When Personal and Professional Converge

  Losing a Patient to Suicide

Given the many demands providers face, it can be challenging to take time to seek support or ask for help. An important step towards understanding one’s own loss journey, helping others who have experienced a loss, or preparing for the possibility of future loss, is to hear from other provider suicide loss survivors. The following short film features three providers discussing their suicide loss journeys.


English with Audio Description | En Español | En Español con Descripción de Audio


Podcast: Providers' Suicide Loss Experience


Better understanding the nuanced impacts following a suicide loss is essential to personal and professional growth. Check out the following podcast featuring suicide bereavement and postvention experts, Drs. Nina Gutin and Vanessa McGann, co-founders of the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) Clinician Survivor Taskforce. In this episode, they map out the experience of suicide loss from a provider’s perspective, discussing what to expect, what is normal to feel, and things that can be done even before a suicide loss occurs.

Providers' Experience Podcast

View Episode Details


Blogs: Providers' Suicide Loss Experiences


Full Circle - Written by B.L.


Suicide “Succs”- Anonymous

  Full Circle Blog

“…The year was 1991 and suicide was a topic we didn’t understand or discuss. There were no support groups for survivors and no internet to find resources…” Read More

  Suicide "Succs" Blog

“Dealing with the aftermath of having a client suicide was so different from any other loss that I have experienced. It was difficult to even know how to feel…” Read More


If you are a provider who would like to share your journey processing and healing after suicide loss, please email to learn how to do so.


Coalition of Clinician Survivors


Coalition of Clinician Survivors exists to provide support, education, resources, and consultation to mental health providers and other professional caregivers who have experienced suicide losses in personal and/or professional contexts.

To learn more visit the Coalition of Clinician Survivors  website.


USPV developed a postvention podcast series in collaboration with the Clinician Survivor Coalition Co-Chairs, Dr. Nina J. Gutin and Dr. Vanessa L. McGann. The series includes episodes for both Clinician-Survivors of suicide and for the suicide loss survivors that providers support. You can listen to the podcasts , or check out a description of the podcast series.

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The following training video provides an overview on provider suicide loss impact, including recommendations for navigating both emotional responses and professional responsibilities following the loss.


TAPS Trainings

For information about TAPS trainings, you may  visit here.

If you are a provider working with a Service Member, Veteran or family members who have experienced a suicide loss, please connect them to TAPS for resources and support. Loss survivors and providers can reach TAPS 24/7 at 800-959-TAPS (8277) or visit to learn more and get connected.


Sample Guidelines


The following are sample guidelines, developed by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), to help individuals and agencies navigate essential steps following a suicide loss.


Sample Individual Practitioner Practices for Responding to Client Suicide
Authored by Jeffrey C. Sung, M.D. – Updated March 21, 2016


Sample Agency Practices for Responding to Client Suicide
Authored by Jeffrey C. Sung, M.D. – Updated March 21, 2016


Additional Guidelines


Riverside Trauma Center Postvention Guidelines
The following is another example of organizational postvention guidelines, provided by the Riverside Trauma Center, that can be used to assist you in developing a suicide postvention plan. Authored by Lawrence Berkowitz, Ed.D. James McCauley, LICSW Rebecca Mirick, LICSW


Suicide Postvention Preparation Plan
As a provider, planning ahead for an unexpected tragic loss can help the clinician navigate the loss in the moment and take immediate steps to care for themself and their professional practice. The following Suicide Postvention Preparation Plan, developed by the USPV team, provides practical guidance on how to develop a suicide postvention preparation plan and includes a fillable page to help identify support contacts and self-care strategies. Authored by Sarra Nazem, PhD & Christine Pao PhD – Updated May 31, 2022


Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program (SRM)


The Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program (SRM) provides free consultation for any provider, community or VA, who serves Veterans at risk for suicide. In addition to providing consultation on suicide prevention (e.g., assessment, conceptualization, intervention), consultation is also provided on suicide postvention. This includes provider support following suicide loss and consultation on how to develop and establish suicide postvention processes.

Learn more at
Request a consult by emailing:


Podcast: Managing Legal & Ethical Considerations of Suicide Loss


Navigating legal and ethical considerations following a suicide loss can be tough. The following podcast features psychologist, Dr. Vanessa McGann, and suicide malpractice lawyer, Skip Simpson, J.D., discussing how to consider important legal and ethical elements before and after a suicide loss.

Providers' Experience Podcast

View Episode Details


Podcasts: Postvention Practices in Workplace Settings


The breadth of individuals impacted by a suicide loss can vary greatly depending upon the setting in which the loss occurs. The following podcast episodes are available to provide setting-specific guidance for postvention practices.


Medical Centers


General Workplaces

  Medical Centers

View Episode Details

  General Workplaces

View Episode Details


Crisis Centers



  Crisis Centers

View Episode Details


View Episode Details


Mental Health Centers and Private Practices


Military Settings

  Mental Health Centers and Provate Practices

View Episode Details

  Military Settings

View Episode Details

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American Association of Suicidology (AAS)


American Association of Suicidology (AAS) Clinician Survivor Taskforce


American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)


Alliance of Hope


Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)


Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)


Resources for Providers Working with Suicide Loss Survivors


Alliance of Hope - for professionals - resources, information, and ways to connect with suicide loss survivors


USPV Recommended Resources - for suicide loss survivors in the Community, including Veterans & Families with Children


USPV Recommended Readings and Podcasts for Providers


Guide for Facilitating a Suicide Survivor Support Group


Guidelines for Providing Postvention Support from a Distance


If you are looking for more resources regarding the personal impact of suicide loss, check out the Community 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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Update 8 March 2023

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