Psychiatric Annals

Feature Article 

Bereavement after Suicide

John R. Jordan, PhD

Abstract

The loss of a loved one to death is widely recognized as a challenging stressor event, one that increases risk for the development of many psychiatric conditions. One key risk factor is the mode of death. This article briefly reviews the literature about the impact of suicide as a mode of death on those who are grieving this type of loss, known as suicide survivors. Within suicidology, the term “suicide survivor” has come to refer to a person who is grieving after the suicide of a loved one, not someone who has survived a suicide attempt. This article also describes some of the interventions that may be appropriate for survivors and offers general guidelines for the provision of compassionate bereavement care after a suicide.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John R. Jordan, PhD, is in private practice in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Address correspondence to: John R. Jordan, PhD, 10 Exchange Court, Unit 401, Pawtucket, RI, 02860; fax 401-305-3051; or e-mail: jjordan50@aol.com.

Dr. Jordan has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Abstract

The loss of a loved one to death is widely recognized as a challenging stressor event, one that increases risk for the development of many psychiatric conditions. One key risk factor is the mode of death. This article briefly reviews the literature about the impact of suicide as a mode of death on those who are grieving this type of loss, known as suicide survivors. Within suicidology, the term “suicide survivor” has come to refer to a person who is grieving after the suicide of a loved one, not someone who has survived a suicide attempt. This article also describes some of the interventions that may be appropriate for survivors and offers general guidelines for the provision of compassionate bereavement care after a suicide.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John R. Jordan, PhD, is in private practice in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Address correspondence to: John R. Jordan, PhD, 10 Exchange Court, Unit 401, Pawtucket, RI, 02860; fax 401-305-3051; or e-mail: jjordan50@aol.com.

Dr. Jordan has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

The loss of a loved one to death is widely recognized as a challenging stressor event, one that increases risk for the development of many psychiatric conditions. One key risk factor is the mode of death. This article briefly reviews the literature about the impact of suicide as a mode of death on those who are grieving this type of loss, known as suicide survivors. Within suicidology, the term “suicide survivor” has come to refer to a person who is grieving after the suicide of a loved one, not someone who has survived a suicide attempt. This article also describes some of the interventions that may be appropriate for survivors and offers general guidelines for the provision of compassionate bereavement care after a suicide.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John R. Jordan, PhD, is in private practice in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Address correspondence to: John R. Jordan, PhD, 10 Exchange Court, Unit 401, Pawtucket, RI, 02860; fax 401-305-3051; or e-mail: jjordan50@aol.com.

Dr. Jordan has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

10.3928/00485713-20081001-05

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