Survivors’ perceptions of support following a parent’s suicide
childhood, suicide, parental suicide, family, support systems
Children who experience a parent’s suicide are vulnerable to an increased risk for mental health disorders and suicide attempts. In this study, 17 adults, each a child survivor of their parent’s suicide, shared their perceptions of support following the suicide. Helpful experiences included opening communication about suicide and offering individualized support. Unhelpful experiences included judgment and blame, silence regarding suicide, and a heightened awareness of the surviving parent’s challenges. Individuals most helpful in meeting the child’s needs included those with preexisting relationships. In particular, our findings emphasize the critical need for honest, open, and age-appropriate communication about the parent’s suicide.
Original Publication Citation
Suzanne Wilson, Melissa Allen Heath, Paola Wilson, Elizabeth Cutrer-Parraga, Sarah Marie Coyne & Aaron Paul Jackson (2019): Survivors’ perceptions of support following a parent’s suicide, Death Studies.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Wilson, Suzanne; Heath, Melissa Allen; Wilson, Paola; Cutrer-Parraga, Elizabeth; Coyne, Sarah Marie; and Jackson, Aaron Paul, "Survivors’ perceptions of support following a parent’s suicide" (2019). Faculty Publications. 4129.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
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