This article considers the implications of suicide and violent deaths (including suicide, homicide, and accidents) for the development of interventions for parentally bereaved children. Analyses of data from the Family Bereavement Program find minimal differences in children's mental health problems, grief or risk and protective factors based on cause of parental death. In addition, cause of death did not substantially affect the relations between risk and protective factors and bereaved children's outcomes. It is concluded that cause of death from violence or suicide is not a very useful indicator of bereaved children's need for or likelihood of benefiting from an intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Peer support is acknowledged as a cornerstone in recovery from mental illness and addictions; yet its applicability for survivors of suicide has not been explored. Most postvention programs consist of professionally led individual and group counseling services. Alternatives to traditional professional counseling interventions are reported in the mental health peer support literature. We examine the postvention literature and the related mental health literature on peer support programs to determine their relevance and applicability. This report considers peer support provided as a postvention option or supplied in tandem with conventional professional services. Finally, we examine this as an intervention that also needs to be documented by quantitative and qualitative methods so that the presumptions and hesitations about its efficaciousness with suicide survivors can be documented.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An exploration of the literature was undertaken on the question of whether or not bereavement after suicide, as opposed to other modes of death, renders individuals more susceptible to enduring and complicated grief reactions. The literature from qualitative research indicated that there appeared to be a greater prevalence of individual and contextual risk factors leading to complicated bereavement for survivors of suicide, as opposed to those bereaved through most other modes of death. Trauma-related research and survivors' anecdotal reports emphasised the potential for proximal factors and specific experiences in the immediate aftermath of a suicide that could facilitate, or complicate bereavement. Factors found to indicate that suicide bereavement is distinct include survivors more often experiencing feelings of rejection, responsibility, guilt and blame, with feelings of shame and embarrassment interacting with a sense of stigmatisation. In addition, reports indicated ambivalent, challenging and negative relationships with service providers after the suicide. The impact of such factors remains largely overlooked in the context of suicide, and we therefore argue that the immediate post-death experience, specific to suicide survivors, presents a critical primary site for risk prevention and building resilience with survivors. We reflect on training for front line workers in this context.
Advances in Mental Health 04/2009; 8(1). DOI:10.5172/jamh.8.1.37
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