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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 60 (2018) 9, 637 - 641

Klinische Praktijk

Suicide by a psychiatry resident – reflection and postvention

A.W. Braam, D.W.G.M. Tijdink

background After the suicide of a psychiatry resident, the coordinators of her trainee program had to face several questions.
aim To articulate some of the main questions and to describe our course of action as a way of ‘suicide postvention’.
method Reflection on an anonymized residency situation.
results The central question pertained to the dilemma whether the coordinator, supervisor, or other residents should consider the situation from a therapist viewpoint or as employer-colleague. The last option was formally the most valid, but the dilemma related to other questions, such as about our professional identity as psychiatrists. Postvention occurred in several phases (immediate, recovery, reconstruction) and included several meetings with the residents and supervisors. One meeting was facilitated by the spiritual counseler of the institution.
conclusion A self-critical approach and our postvention approach seemed to supply a need of attention and care for all residency colleagues involved.

keywords postvention, residency, ritual, suicide, trainee