Title

Survivors’ perceptions of support following a parent’s suicide

Keywords

childhood, suicide, parental suicide, family, support systems

Abstract

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.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2019-12-12

Publisher

Death Studies

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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