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Postvention

Postvention deals with the aftermath of a crisis and how to help you or a person you care about feel safe and re-engage life after a difficult experience. This page outlines the resources that are available to you at Augustana College postvention. The goals of postvention should always be specific to the individual, but some general guidelines of postvention are (1) to help those impacted by crisis deal with the lingering effects, (2) to develop community supports, and (3) to reduce the risk of future crises:

  • Facilitate the adjustment process;
  • Stabilize the environment;
  • Reduce the risk of negative behaviors;
  • Limit the risk of future crisis (HEMHA, Postvention).


Postvention sections 

The following links will help you navigate the postvention services offered to you at Augustana College.

Buddy system
Peer support groups
Therapeutic group discussions
Support from the Residential Life Office
Support from Student Counseling Services
Other resources for postvention and burnout

Buddy system

It is important to connect with someone when you start to feel distress, as friends can provide the support and comfort you cannot give yourself. After a crisis, you may be encouraged to identify a “buddy” in your friend network who you are comfortable reaching out to when you are distressed. This “buddy” will meet with the Director of Student Well-Being and Resiliency and will help you reconnect with your support network.

Peer support groups

Peer support groups are run by students for students. The purpose is to develop natural relationships in a space disconnected from procedural or professional interactions. In this way, peer support is about overcoming a shared challenge together and building informal bonds with others. When asked to describe the benefits of peer support groups, participants in a study done by Hirsch Mental Health Services reported the following outcomes:

  • Connecting with peers with similar lived experiences
  • Letting go of a sense of failure
  • Getting a sense of belonging
  • Building trust
  • Having a place of “no shame”
  • Letting go of labels
  • Finding self-acceptance
  • Developing a sense of hope

There are two major peer support groups on campus: NAMI and Active Minds. Below is a description of each group, including times for meetings as well as a link to a list of support groups in the community. If you would like to develop a peer support group around a specific issue, student counseling services (SCS) would gladly partner with you. Please, email SCS at studentcounselingservices@augustana.edu to begin the conversation. Here is a link to a resource on creating peer support groups from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Augie NAMI

Augie NAMI is a student-led campus club that supports student mental health through peer support and raises mental health awareness through education and advocacy on campus. The purpose of Augie NAMI is to help students feel mentally and emotionally well during their time at Augustana College, serving as a first-step for students to talk (or not) and learn from their peers.

Augie NAMI is open to all students, no matter where they stand on their journey. Meetings are a safe place to share, learn, and take a break from the stresses of college life. All conversations are welcomed. Support often centers on the difficult transition to college, different coping skills, time and stress management, and working through dilemmas that members share. 

Augie NAMI is a support group in is purest form. Board members all have personal mental health experiences and are passionate about supporting students struggling to understand what they are feeling.

If you think Augie NAMI is for you, please come to a weekly hour-long meeting. Augie NAMI can also help guide you through mental health services. Remember Augie NAMI is here for you: come stop by a meeting, stay, hangout, bring some friends, talk, don't talk—whatever you want. Whoever you are, wherever you stand, Augie NAMI is here for you. 

Meeting time for Fall Semester 2019-20: Mondays 5-6 p.m. in Olin 304

Active Minds

Active Minds empowers students to speak openly about mental health by raising awareness and encourage help-seeking. Active Minds strives to change the aspects of Augustana College’s culture that stop students from seeking help by providing information, leadership opportunities, and advocacy training. 

Through campus-wide events and national programs, Active Minds aims to remove the stigma that surrounds mental health issues, creating a comfortable environment to have an open conversation about mental health and the resources available to students. 

The local chapter of Active Minds performs weekly events to raise awareness and get mental health resources into the hands of all students. Notifications of upcoming events are emailed out regularly. 

Support groups

This link lists all the different support groups available in the community and beyond. The support groups on this page are alphabetized by area of concern.

Therapeutic group discussions

Often, the best postvention is a group of people talking about what they experienced and how they are different now. Of course, this is something you could do on your own, but if you would like counseling staff to facilitate the discussion, please email us at studentcounselingservices@augustana.edu, and we will work with you to find a time and place where you and your peers can have a meaningful discussion about the crisis and the aftermath. These discussions are therapeutic in nature, though not therapy. As a result, confidentiality around the group discussion is strongly encouraged after the meeting from all participants, unless the person opens up to you or continues the discussion later.

Support from the Residential Life Office

The Office of Residential Life is prepared to assist students as they re-engage with the community after a personal crisis. Please reach out to your Community Advisor, Resident Director or Area Coordinator when you return to campus. All of our staff are certified in mental health first aid and are ready to be good non-judgmental listeners for all students.

Support from Student Counseling Services

Student counseling services offers brief and long-term individual therapy, group therapy, and well-being workshops regularly. To schedule an appointment, please email cherimizuar@augustana.edu, email studentcounselingservices@augustana.edu, call 309-794-7357, or walk-in Founders 206.

For more information, please visit the counseling process to learn more about counseling services at Augustana College.

Self-help resources for postvention, burnout and compassion fatigue

While community support is the foundation of Augustana College’s postvention, there are also several resources you can use to help you adjust to your experiences and improve your safety. Below are links to different self-help and postvention resources. There are also resources on burnout, vicarious traumatization (experiencing trauma-like symptoms from handling another person’s trauma or hearing about trauma), and compassion fatigue (losing the ability to empathize or care about people due to being in a helper role).

What Happens Now?
A website for dealing with the aftermath of suicidal thoughts and actions

A Journey towards Health and Hope
A workbook to help you recover from an attempt or strong suicidal thoughts

Addicted to Busy
A workbook on burnout prevention

Overcoming Burnout in 30 Days
An e-book on burnout

Peer Support Compassion Fatigue
A workbook from Veterans' Affairs on peer support compassion fatigue

Vicarious Trauma and Self-Care Tool Kit
Tool kit on self-care as a result of secondary traumatic stress

Recovery-Oriented Crisis Services
A presentation on crisis and how to help yourself and others after a crisis

A Guide for College Students with Psychiatric Disabilities
A website for mental health disorders and their accommodations in college

JED Foundation Mental Health Resource Page
A website with a variety of resources related to mental health

Self-help
A repository of self-help interventions