Is suicide bereavement different? A reassessment of the literature

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2001 Spring;31(1):91-102. doi: 10.1521/suli.


The question of whether suicide bereavement is different from mourning after other types of deaths has important theoretical and clinical implications. Some recent literature reviews have argued that the differences may be minimal. In contrast, this article suggests that suicide bereavement is distinct in three significant ways: the thematic content of the grief, the social processes surrounding the survivor, and the impact suicide has on family systems. In addition, problems in the methodology used to compare different bereavement experiences are addressed. Some clinical implications of these conclusions, including the need for homogeneous support groups, psychoeducational services, and family and social network interventions are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bereavement*
  • Family / psychology
  • Humans
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Suicide, Attempted / psychology
  • Survivors / psychology*