In some cases, an intervention takes the form of a confrontation or meeting between a person who is engaged in self-destructive behavior and concerned friends or family members. In other cases, where individuals are not able to make decisions for themselves, an intervention is a decision to take action on their behalf. This method, although helpful, may not end up helping every person requiring care.
Postvention is a term that was first coined by Shneidman (1972), which he used to describe "appropriate and helpful acts that come after a dire event." In Schneidman's view, "the largest public health problem is neither the prevention of suicide nor the management of suicide attempts, but the alleviation of the effects of stress in the survivors whose lives are forever altered." The aim is to support and debrief those affected" and reduce the possibility of copycat suicide. Interventions recognize that those bereaved by suicide may be vulnerable to suicidal behaviour themselves and may develop complicated grief reactions.