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Help is at hand for people bereaved by suicide and other traumatic death

  • Keith Hawton (a1), Sue Simkin (a2) and Sian Rees (a3)
Extract

Bereavement following suicide is traumatic. Guilt, shame, stigma and feelings of rejection and isolation set it apart from the sadness following other kinds of death and may make it difficult for the bereaved person to obtain help (Harwood et al, 2002; Hawton & Simkin, 2003; Beautrais, 2004). the necessary official processes surrounding death by suicide, like the police and coroner's investigations, can add to the trauma (Biddle, 2003). This may be compounded by inaccurate or insensitive media reporting. Bereaved individuals are at risk of increased morbidity from abnormal grief reactions (Mitchell et al, 2005) and suicide (Qin et al, 2002), and they often need considerable support (de Groot et al, 2006; 2007).

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Andriessen, K. & Farberow, N. L. (eds) (2002) European Directory of Suicide Survivor Services. International Association for Suicide Prevention (http://www.med.uio.no/iasp/files/europdir_text.pdf).
Andriessen, K., Beautrais, A., Grad, O.T., et al (2007) Current understandings of suicide survivor issues: research, practice, and plans. Report of the 1st International Suicide Postvention Seminar, September 8, 2006, Portoroz, Slovenia. Crisis: the Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 28, 211213.
Beautrais, A. L. (2004) Suicide Postvention. Support for Families, Whānau and Significant Others After a Suicide. A Literature Review and Synthesis of Evidence. Ministry of Youth Affairs New Zealand.
Biddle, L. (2003) Public hazards or private tragedies? An exploratory study of the effect of coroners' procedures on those bereaved by suicide. Social Science and Medicine, 56, 10331045.
Clark, S. E. & Goldney, R. (2000) The impact of suicide on relatives and friends. In The International Handbook of Suicide and Attempted Suicide (eds Hawton, K. & Van Heeringen, K.). pp.467484. Wiley.
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De Groot, M., De Keijser, J., Neeleman, J., et al (2007) Cognitivebehavioural therapy to prevent complicated grief among relatives and spouses bereaved by suicide. A cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 334, 994996.
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Harwood, D., Hawton, K., Hope, T., et al (2002) The grief experiences and needs of bereaved relatives and friends of older people dying through suicide: a descriptive and case–control study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 72, 185194.
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Mitchell, A. M., Kim, Y., Prigerson, H. G., et al (2005) Complicated grief and suicidal ideation in adult survivors of suicide. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 35, 498506.
Qin, P., Agerbo, E. & Mortensen, P. B. (2002) Suicide risk in relation to family history of completed suicide and psychiatric disorders: a nested case–control study based on longitudinal registers. Lancet, 360, 11261130.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Help is at hand for people bereaved by suicide and other traumatic death

  • Keith Hawton (a1), Sue Simkin (a2) and Sian Rees (a3)
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