2 After a Suicide | A Toolkit for Physician Residency/Fellowship Programs Introduction The death of a resident by suicide is devastating, shocking, and stressful for all involved. It can feel different than the death of a patient and may be more like that of a family member or close friend. There are also aspects of suicide loss that can be traumatizing for many. Being aware of the experiences common to suicide loss can help: • Prevent contagion • Allow the community to grieve and feel supported • Raise awareness of the mental health needs of the community • Engage in suicide prevention efforts at a later stage It is also important to remember that the resident is a colleague or hospital employee. While physicians may have experience in dealing with patient deaths, managing the death of a resident carries with it a different set of responsibilities. Thankfully, this is not an everyday experience – but this means residency/fellowship training programs are often uncertain about how to respond and need reliable information, practical tips and tools, and guidance readily available. Experts in graduate medical education, resident distress and wellbeing, and suicide have collaborated to make this toolkit to help residency/fellowship training programs in the aftermath of a resident death by suicide. The toolkit contains consensus recommendations endorsed by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). It is designed to offer practical tips, modeled after the gold standard resource, “After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools,”1 co-developed by AFSP and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Additional resources are provided in the Appendix. Key considerations, general guidelines for action, do’s and don’ts, templates, and sample materials are provided on strategies for notification of the event and support of the community. This toolkit may serve as a guide for the development of a local action plan. It is important to have procedures in place that approach all resident deaths in a similar fashion. Processes for notifications, bringing residents together as a community, and creating memorials should be the same when responding to the death of a resident who dies by suicide, by car accident or from cancer. This approach minimizes stigma and reduces the risk of suicide contagion.