Adults mourning suicide: self-reported concerns about bereavement, needs for assistance, and help-seeking behavior

Death Stud. Jan-Feb 2000;24(1):1-19. doi: 10.1080/074811800200667.


This study empirically characterized the experiences of 227 adult next-of-kin as they mourned suicides that had occurred in New York City during 1997. Next-of-kin reported psychosocial problems including family difficulties, comorbid stressors, psychiatric symptomatology, and unresolved bereavement. Professional intervention was the most frequently reported need and the most frequently reported type of desired help. In terms of actual receipt of assistance, participants reported having received help from families, friends, and communities as well as from professionals. Although some next-of-kin had not sought help because they felt able to cope without assistance, others encounted barriers to receiving desired help. These findings warrant increased and sustained community outreach to this population. Recommendations include public education regarding de-stigmatization of suicide and the needs of the suicidally bereaved, enhancement of internal and external coping supports, facilitation of access to both professional and community help, and better coordinated and more culturally appropriate services.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bereavement*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services
  • New York City
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Social Support*
  • Suicide*