Postvention is about what happens after a tragic event, specifically when someone takes their own life. A postvention response aims to support those affected by a suicide tragedy and help them find a path towards healing and recovery.

At Thirrili, our work in postvention respects the strength and self-determination of communities in their journey of bereavement. Our goal is to improve social and emotional wellbeing for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to ensure that future generations are free from the traumatic impacts of suicide. Our model of care is community-led, respectful and flexible. Our staff build a postvention plan using their knowledge and experience as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, respecting all cultural and community protocols while also consulting emerging literature.

Thirrili’s models of care

All of our work is done with the goal that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities are thriving and flourishing for future generations to be free from the traumatic impacts of suicide.

We recognise the strengths of our communities and uphold protective boundaries for communities, families and individuals, that allow self-determination in their ways of bereavement and healing.

Our work in case management starts when families contact us for support.

Our work in postvention capacity building begins when community invites Thirrili to support them in building a postvention plan.

We sit beside our people in their time of greatest need, trauma and distress.

We respect cultural and community protocols and hold space for communities to step back into their power.

Our cultural values are embedded throughout our organisation.

Collective – By invitation, support community-led decision-making.

Respectful – Work with communities under their protocols, at their direction.

Reciprocal – Provide support and service when communities grant their trust.

Relationship based – Understand and respect that relationships with individuals, families and communities are based on care which continues to reach beyond one incident or event, and is founded in our shared identity as First Nations peoples.

Diverse – Remain inclusive and accessible to everyone and reflect the complex composition of First Nations communities in Australia.


Social and emotional wellbeing

Our people are powerful and we believe in the strength of community.

Thirrili’s services contribute to improved social and emotional wellbeing for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our work for better social and emotional wellbeing happens at national, state/territory, regional and local levels.

Postvention is defined by the World Health Organisation as:

‘Intervention efforts for individuals bereaved or affected by suicide [that] are implemented in order to support the grieving process and reduce the possibility of imitative suicidal behaviour.’

Thirrili’s Model of Care is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led model of care, based on the emerging literature relating to good practice, and the practice wisdom of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff. This work builds on the knowledge and experience gained in delivering support to families in the UWA Critical Response Pilot Project.

Thirrili defines Postvention Throughcare as:

Provision of coordinated and culturally responsive support to individuals and families affected by suicide or other trauma.

On the invitation of individuals or families, we work to enable families to access social and emotional wellbeing services to support them in their journey of healing and over time live safe and meaningful lives in the context of urban and remote settings. Simultaneously we work with the Traditional Owners, local communities, and service providers to ensure individuals and families are well supported.

We regularly review our clients’ and families’ needs, modifying the throughcare plan as required as we continue to support their journey of healing.


Journey of healing

Thirrili staff are cognisant of the need to respond flexibly and be respectful of local cultural protocols and practices related to mourning or “sorry business”.

Whilst every attempt is made to respond as quickly as possible on the notification of a death, the timing of our response has regard to local cultural protocols, and the need to allow families to “process” the sudden passing of a loved one.

Our approach to supporting individuals, families and communities affected by suicide or other trauma seeks to strengthen the social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) of those affected to build resilience and support healing.

Model of Care, Connection and Practice


Thirrili Welcomes Referrals from Community Members and All Services Across Australia and Torres Strait Islands.

Thirrili Referral Process offers guidance and support for individuals, families, and communities impacted by suicide or other traumatic, unexpected death.

The Thirrili Model of Care delineates the key stages in a person's healing journey, working with the client to identify the support(s) they currently require and our case management can extend throughout the healing process. This holistic approach involves input, advice and guidance from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander postvention advocate, as well services and individuals where the client identifies that need.  This approach ensures that individuals and families receive our best  care. Our approach to case management is relationship based and we work with individuals and families through the lens of postvention, to reduce the traumatic impacts of suicide in our communities.

Our case management model of care  is on trauma-informed, evidence-based and supplemented by support through self-management education.

To access our services at any time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and services providers across Australia can call 1800 805 801.

Thirrili referrals serve to link individuals, families, and communities to a diverse array of services and support, encompassing but not limited to:

  • Supporting grief, loss and sorry time
  • Case coordination
  • Planning for funerals
  • Understanding the coronial process
  • Support service referrals
  • Cultural Connection