suicide postvention for community GPs


The headspace National GP Program has collaborated with academic, clinical, and lived experience subject matter experts to co-design this webinar series for GPs. This series explores suicide in a community from a single event and over time through to the impact of a cluster declared by a coroner.  
While there is a focus on GP, psychiatry, and Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Island clinical perspectives, these are interwoven with the powerful lived experience of young people, family, refugees, and migrants.  
Each module will place you in the driver's seat as a GP in your community, in the clinical setting with a presenting issue at hand. The rich and engaging content highlights the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will assist you to bring about evidence informed and best practise approaches to care in this context of suicide impacting in your community.  


Webinar 1: Responding to bereavement by suicide 

In module one, we explore the role of GPs in supporting young people in the acute event of a single suicide in the community when a young person presents in distress, supported by a family member.  
We ask our panel to describe the acute needs of young people when they present to services and explore grief and loss in young people in the context of bereavement by suicide. This frames up best practise approaches to an initial consultation, including assessment and management.  
Learning Outcomes: 

  • Understanding the range of experiences of young people bereaved by suicide 
  • Understanding trauma informed care approaches 
  • Describe a structured approach to assessment and management 
  • Describe developmentally appropriate and both cultural and family Inclusive practice 


  • 02:03 - Part 1 - understanding grief and loss
  • 02:47 Experiences of young people and family (combine with below)
  • 09:06 Additional impact of bereavement by suicide on young people
  • 15:24 Impacts on first nations peoples
  • 23:07 Refugee and migrant perspectives
  • 25:35 A GPs approach to a young person including confidentiality


  • 32:10 - Part 2 - understanding the individual / context
  • 32:43 GP information gathering and assessment
  • 38:53 What may help young people and families in the early stages of grief and loss
  • 45:19 Understanding a young persons culture or background
  • 48:43 Assessment phase for First Nations young people
  • 53:45 Trauma-informed and culturally inclusive strategies


  • 59:05 - Part 3 - management planning
  • 59:33 Management planning and First Nations young people
  • 01:02:55 Tailored management planning framework
  • 01:06:33 Refugee and migrant service referrals and access
  • 01:09:27 How can family and carers support young people
  • 01:13:08 Communicating a plan to a young person and their family
  • 01:16:48 The importance and value of this work


View resource list

Webinar 2: A further death by suicide: GPs supporting family, young people, and the community over time

You are a GP in the same community that had earlier had a young person die by suicide, and now there has been a second young person die by suicide. A family member presents concerned about their young person whose behaviour has changed. However, the young person will not accept professional support and is not in attendance today.  

We ask our expert panel to describe the acute needs of family when they present to services and will frame up best practise approaches. We continue to explore grief and loss in the community over time.  We also look at the coronial process and how GPs, as community leaders, can participate in early suicide postvention and prevention. 

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Understand the concepts of suicide exposure, contagion, and clusters  
  • Describe the coronial process and role for GPs in contributing to this process where concerns arise 
  • Describe barriers to help seeking in young people 
  • Discuss working with supportive carers and family inclusive practice 


  • 00:00 - Part 1 - community experience, coronial process, impact on schools
  • 01:08 A young person's experience of several deaths by suicide
  • 03:31 First Nations people's assessment and culture of healing
  • 06:07 Responding to communities impacted by suicide
  • 15:33 The declaration of a cluster and effective community response
  • 24:35 Young people and families in an emerging community cluster


  • 28:44 - Part 2 - Parental concerns / family inclusive practice
  • 29:19 Supporting parents when young people won't engage
  • 37:22 Barriers for First Nations young people
  • 40:24 Barriers for migrant and refugee young people
  • 42:44 Helping young people accept help
  • 44:56 Supporting families to support their young person


  • 01:00:12 - Part 3 - Wrap-around care model and therapeutic intervention
  • 01:00:49 Developing a care plan to assist families when young people don’t engage
  • 01:03:56 Schools and postvention support
  • 01:07:03 Supporting First Nations young people and their families
  • 01:09:14 Connecting refugee and migrant young people with supports
  • 01:11:36 Other options for young people to engage supports
  • 01:13:48 Enabling families to support young people
  • 01:14:50 Planning and resources for parents to move forward
  • 01:15:55 The importance and value of this work


View resource list

Webinar 3: Responding to a formal suicide cluster in your community

Further in time your community has been declared a suicide cluster region. What does this now mean? How will your practise change and what other things might you need to think about doing at the community level? We invite you to consider what you will need to put in place for yourself, your practice, and your community.  
Our panel explore suicide prevention response as it relates to a disaster preparedness and response framework. This includes reflecting upon the needs of a community in the context of grief and loss over time, the importance of a strengths-based approach in supporting connection and healing in communities, how we might play our role as members of that community, and as GP leaders within the community.

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Understand Suicide postvention activities at the community and services level 
  • Discuss suicide postvention activities in the context of crisis preparedness 
  • Consider the role of the GP and primary care team in suicide postvention at an organisational level 
  • Discuss self-care and organisational support in the context of community crises 
  • Discuss the role of primary care teams in supporting communities through a range of activities outside the consulting room 


  • 00:00 Part 1 - Disaster management preparedness / ideal response
  • 01:57 Healing in First Nations communities
  • 05:42 Community bereavement needs in a suicide cluster
  • 07:25 Response after a formal declaration of a suicide cluster
  • 13:33 Bereavement needs for young people, families and carers.


  • 21:11Part 2 - Changes needed to support an ideal response
  • 21:57 The role of GPs in response to a declared cluster
  • 24:17 Implementing an organisational approach at the clinical practice level
  • 31:43 Accessing bereavement support for young people and families
  • 35:39 Patient-centred care approach for First Nations young people
  • 36:46 Postvention support from agencies, schools and communities


  • 42:03 Part 3 - Supporting the workforce
  • 42:28 Supporting clinicians and teams, including at the practice and system level
  • 55:08 Looking after ourselves, our colleagues and communities
  • 59:54 The coronial process
  • 01:04:32 Developing a community forum for education and support
  • 01:09:56 The importance and value of this work


View resource list

Thank you for completing this webinar series. We encourage you to review any of the resources that have underpinned this work that may be of interest.  
We highlight the resources that relate to assessing and managing risk in young people and stress the importance of these key foundational skills in the context of supporting suicide postvention in your community. 
View resource list

If you would like to contact us, please email  


The headspace Clinical Reference Group oversee and approve clinical resources made available on this website. 

Last reviewed 11 April 2023.

These webinars were co-designed by Dr Bianca Forrester (General Practitioner and Senior Lecturer, Dept of General Practice, University of Melbourne) and headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation Ltd, led by members of the headspace National GP Program. 

headspace would like to thank the following subject matter experts for their contribution:


  • Dr Bianca Forrester (General Practitioner and Senior Lecturer, Dept of General Practice, University of Melbourne) 
  • Prof Sandra Radovini (Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist & Director of Mindful) 
  • Dr Jonathan Ho (General Practitioner, Mental health and AOD, friend of headspace Wagga Wagga) 
  • Kimberley Harrison (National Manager, First Nations Wellbeing and Healing, headspace National) 
  • Rachael Laing (Youth Reference Group member, headspace National) 
  • Grace Sholl (Youth Reference Group member, headspace National) 
  • Kim Edgar (National Family Reference Group member, headspace National) 
  • LewChing Yip (Mental health care worker, Safe Haven) 
  • Lisa Mangwiro (Refugee and Migrant Practice Advisor, headspace National) 
  • Kristen Douglas (Head of headspace Schools & Communities, headspace National) 
  • Nicola Palfrey (headspace Schools & Communities National Clinical Manager, headspace National) 
  • Salli Hickford (Executive Officer, Hope Bereavement Care)