After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools | 20 Faith communities may also be helpful in supporting community postvention efforts. Vignette A provides an example. Vignette A: Faith Leaders Educating Community Members A high school whose staff had been trained in postvention lost a student to suicide. The principal invited the family minister, whose youth group the student had been involved in, to the school’s early morning crisis response meeting. The minister learned about the many risk factors that can lead to suicide. He and his wife both became leaders in the community’s postvention response. They hosted an evening gathering at the church to educate all community members about suicide as a public health issue and inform them of the warning signs and resources for help. This collaborative approach with key community stakeholders helped to give people permission to grieve the loss and learn how to hold onto hope and resilience. Mental Health and Health Care Most schools have mental health professionals on staff, and it is important that these individuals are linked to other mental health professionals in the community. If there are concerns that a student needs additional supports, school staff should notify the parent(s) or guardian(s) and make a referral to an appropriate mental health professional for assessment, diagnosis, and possible treatment. Schools should also establish an ongoing relationship with a community mental health center that can see students in the event of a psychiatric emergency. In the aftermath of a suicide death, schools will want to notify the center to ensure seamless referrals if students show signs of distress. Schools will also want to publicize crisis hotline numbers, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255). In addition, schools can encourage the local health care community, including primary care doctors and pediatricians, to screen affected youth they see for depression, substance abuse, and other relevant disorders and refer them to a mental health professional as needed. Schools can also help students, staff, and families find local bereavement support groups through community mental health and health care centers. Another way to find suicide bereavement support groups is through AFSP’s listing of suicide loss survivor groups across the country. Outside Postvention Specialists Working with students in the aftermath of a suicide death can easily exhaust a school’s crisis team members, which can interfere with their ability to effectively assist the students. Bringing in postvention specialists or trauma responders from other school districts or local mental health or crisis centers to work alongside the school’s crisis team members—and to provide care for the caregivers—can be quite helpful. See the section Bringing in Outside Help for more information. Building a Community Coalition If a community does not already have a coalition focused on suicide prevention, it may be helpful to create one.