Stigmatization and suicide bereavement.

Sociology Department, Nassau Community College, Garden City, New York, USA.
Death Studies (Impact Factor: 0.92). 09/2009; 33(7):591-608. DOI: 10.1080/07481180902979973
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT With survey data collected primarily from peer support group participants, the authors compared stigmatization responses of 462 parents losing children to suicide with 54 other traumatic death survivors and 24 child natural death survivors. Parents who encountered harmful responses and strained relations with family members and non-kin reported heightened grief difficulties. After controlling for time since the death and whether a child's death was traumatic or not, stigmatization continued to be associated with grief difficulties, depression, and suicidal thinking. Suicide survivors reported little differences in stigmatization from other-traumatic-death survivors, a result consistent with other recent studies, suggesting more convergence between these two populations than divergence.

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    ABSTRACT: Self-help resources are an important means of supporting people bereaved by suicide. These require careful evaluation. To evaluate the use and impact of Help is at Hand, a hardcopy and online booklet produced as part of England's suicide-prevention strategy. Data were collected on numbers of copies distributed and online access, and on users' views about the resource through questionnaires, interviews, and a focus group. Large numbers of copies of Help is at Hand were obtained by a range of organizations, but far fewer directly by individuals, although the resource was extensively accessed online. Evaluation of individuals' responses to the resource was challenging. However, most respondents were very positive about the overall format and content and especially sections on experiencing bereavement and practical matters relating to the death. The main complaint was delay in gaining access to Help is at Hand. Evaluation of resources for people bereaved by suicide is difficult but worthwhile. Help is at Hand was largely well received. The main problem was with regard to individuals gaining access to it, especially at a time when they most needed it. Promotion of resources such as Help is at Hand needs to be prioritized.
    Crisis The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention 06/2012; 33(5):254-64. · 1.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed at validating two new assessment tools, the Stigma of Suicide Attempt (STOSA) scale and the Stigma of Suicide and Suicide Survivor (STOSASS) scale. The Devaluation-Discrimination scale of Link et al. was translated into Italian and adapted to measure stigma towards suicidal behavior. Both scales were administered to a mixed sample including members of the general population (n=282), patients with a mental disorder (n=113), suicide attempters (n=57) and people who had lost a significant other to suicide (n=75). Reliability of the scales was good in terms of both internal coherence and test-retest stability. Factor analysis produced an acceptable solution for the STOSA-scale. Items were distributed into two factors, one grouping items to measure supportive, respectful and caring attitudes, the other factor grouping items oriented towards stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs. The clinical populations were more inclined towards stigmatization of suicide than were people from the general population, who might be less aware of the stigma attached to suicide. The two scales may be helpful to quantify stigma at individual level in order to provide targeted supportive interventions, and at population level to measure changes in the beliefs and attitudes of the general population.
    Psychiatry Research 07/2012; · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is estimated that approximately one in four people know someone who has taken their own life and that one suicide death leaves six or more suicide survivors. The aim of this paper was to review the literature regarding the association between suicide and bereavement, focusing also on the supportive and therapeutic resources available for survivors. Careful MedLine and PsycINFO searches for the period 1980-2013. The review of the literature indicates that emotional turmoil in suicide survivors may last a long time and, in some cases, may end with their own suicide. Future research should evaluate the efficacy of professional treatments and of support groups targeting suicide survivors. It is crucial to understand the bereavement process after the suicide of a significant other in order to provide proper care, reduce stigma, and improve the outcomes of related psychiatric conditions.
    Indian Journal of Psychiatry 01/2013; 55(3):256-263.


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May 21, 2014