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Resources for Professionals

Dealing With Sudden & Unexpected Death Handbook

About the Book

Did you know that more then 43,000 North Americans die in car crashes each year? That more than 29,000 complete suicide? Together, more than 150,000 North Americans die each year as a result of sudden, violent death.

We are excited to announce the publication of a handbook, Dealing with Sudden and Unexpected Death: A Handbook for Survivors written by Beth Vaughan Cole, PhD, APRN; Jan Harvey, MS, APRN; and Leslie Miles, RN. The handbook includes a checklist of things to do in the first 24 hours after death, including: 

  • keeping a notebook of information,
  • making child care arrangements,
  • notifying friends and family,
  • talking about organ donation,
  • and locating a will and keeping it safe.

The handbook also discusses initial grief responses like confusion and denial; funeral arrangements; and what to expect out of children at certain ages and how to help them understand death. 

How to Order

Copies of the book are available at the College of Nursing for $14.99, plus tax, shipping, and handling.

For more information call us at 801-585-9522.

You can order the book online.

Tips for Providers

How to Help Grieving Patients 

Patients frequently turn first to trusted providers when they are struggling with the death of a close family member or friend. With the specter of COVID-19 deaths still looming—and with so many persons negatively affected by the disruption of helpful funeral and memorial practices still present, it is incumbent of providers to offer first line comfort, reassurance and referral.

Providers serve patients best by normalizing their experience and reassuring them that help is available. It is particularly important to distinguish acute grief—the normal pain, sorrow and somatic distress that immediately follows the death of a close other, and prolonged and disabling grief. The former requires support and these grievers will typically benefit from a conversation with you—and a referral to us for further assessment and resources.  Persons who are not functioning occupationally or socially or describe themselves a “stuck” after 6-12 months, may require specialized treatment for complicated grief—a service we offer.

We are also happy to speak with any provider to facilitate a smooth referral for grief support: 801-585-9522. 

Training Programs for Community Professionals

The Grief of Overdose Death

Despite the increased awareness of overdose death, those persons grieving the death of a family member or friend to overdose, an estimated 25 person per death, remain an underserved population. Participants in the program will understand the sequela of overdose grief and risks for complicated grief through the framework of ambiguous loss and disenfranchised grief. This program is suitable for all professionals whose work brings them in contact with persons who have lost someone to death by drug overdose. (Half day 3 hours-CEUs available)

Full day participants will learn an evidence-based 8-session Grief Support Model suitable for 1:1 or group psychotherapy. We will cover a.) Identification of those grieving overdose death in need of professional support, b.) Assessment skills: loss inventory, adverse life events, risk for suicide, risk of substance misuse/abuse of griever/of family; c.) Training in The Grief Support Model Intervention components; d.) Clinician self-care guidance for those who have/will lose a client to overdose death, and e.) Clinical/Program team support skills. (Full day 6 hours, 6 CEUS)

The Grief of Suicide Death

Despite the increased awareness of suicide, those persons grieving the death of a family member or friend to suicide, an estimated 25 persons per death, remain an underserved population. Participants in the program will understand the sequela of suicide grief and risks for complicated grief through the framework of ambiguous loss and disenfranchised grief. This program is suitable for all professionals whose work brings them in contact with persons who have lost someone to death by suicide. (Half day 3 hours-CEUs available)

Participants will learn an evidence-based 8-session Grief Support Model suitable for 1:1 or group psychotherapy. We will cover a.) Identification of those grieving suicide death in need of professional support, b.) Assessment skills: loss inventory, adverse life events, risk for suicide, risk of substance misuse/abuse of griever/of family; c.) Training in The Grief Support Model Intervention components; d.) Clinician self-care guidance for those who have/will lose a client to suicide death, and e.) Clinical/Program team support skills. (Full day 6 hours, 6 CEUS with suicide designation)

The Grief of Suicide Death for School Mental Health Personnel

This full day program is designed for school-based mental health staff: counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses, and is specific to suicide loss in students, staff, or school-adjacent persons. Participants in the program will understand the sequela of suicide grief and risks for complicated grief through the framework of ambiguous loss and disenfranchised grief. Participants will learn an evidence-based 8-session Grief Support Model suitable for 1:1 or group psychotherapy. We will cover a.) Identification of those grieving suicide death in need of professional support, b.) Assessment skills: loss inventory, adverse life events, risk for suicide, risk of substance misuse/abuse of griever/of family; c.) Training in The Grief Support Model Intervention components; d.) Clinician self-care guidance for those who have/will lose a client to suicide death, and e.) Clinical/Program team support skills. (Full day 6 hours, 6 CEUS with suicide designation)

Caring for Those Experiencing Sudden & Unexpected Death

(Suicide, Overdose, Homicide, COVID-19, or Other Traumatic Death)

Participants in the program will understand the sequela of traumatic deaths including suicide, overdose, COVID-19, homicide or other traumatic death and risks for complicated grief through the framework of ambiguous loss and disenfranchised grief. This program is suitable for all professionals whose work brings them in contact with persons who have lost someone to traumatic death. (Half day 3 hours-CEUs available)

Participants will learn an evidence-based 8-session Grief Support Model suitable for 1:1 or group psychotherapy. We will cover a.) Identification of those traumatic death in need of professional support, b.) Assessment skills: loss inventory, adverse life events, risk for suicide, risk of substance misuse/abuse of griever/of family; c.) Training in The Grief Support Model Intervention components; d.) Clinician self-care guidance for those who have/will lose a client to suicide/overdose death, and e.) Clinical/Program team support skills. (Full day 6 hours, 6 CEUS-3 with suicide designation)

When Your Agency Loses a Client (or Student or Colleague) to Suicide

Losing a client, student or colleague to suicide is not an uncommon occurrence and programs, agencies and schools benefit from training to respond to these events and to develop programs that anticipate these events. This training is available in 1 hour and 2-hour formats.

Participants will learn the nature, scope and prevalence of suicide, overdose death and traumatic death in the workplace. Participants will learn individual and collective (agency or program wide) strategies to address these deaths.

Restorative Retreats for Mental Health Agencies

Mental health clinicians are facing professional challenges as never before, including workforce/staffing issues and increasing client complexity.

In this 2-hour session, agency/program participants will learn self-care in the presence of suffering (exposure) and learn and practice individual and collective (agency or program wide) skills to address or prepare for the traumatic features of loss and professional challenges in a series of integrated restorative activities.

These programs were developed by Dr. Katherine Supiano and are supported by grants from the State of Utah-Department of Health

If your agency is interested in one of these trainings, please email adrienne.bott@nurs.utah.edu. 

Upcoming Trainings

Grief of Sudden & Unexpected Death

A Clinical Training and Education Program

September 27, 2022 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Location: Utah State University Extension | 339 South 5500 West Hurricane, UT 84737

You are invited to attend a FREE program about the Grief of Sudden and Unexpected Death and its impact on people and communities. All materials included.

Six hours of clinical education and CEUs available. Registration is required. 

View Flyer + Registration Link