A call for research: the need to better understand the impact of support groups for suicide survivors

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2009 Jun;39(3):269-81. doi: 10.1521/suli.2009.39.3.269.


Support groups for suicide survivors (those individuals bereaved following a suicide) are widely used, but little research evidence is available to determine their efficacy. This paper outlines the pressing public health need to conduct research and determine effective ways to identify and meet the needs of suicide survivors, particularly through survivor support groups. After describing the various approaches to survivor support groups, we explain the need for further research, despite the inherent challenges. Finally, we pose several questions for researchers to consider as they work with survivors to develop a research agenda that sheds more light on the experiences of survivors and the help provided by survivor support groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bereavement*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Research*
  • Self-Help Groups*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Survivors / psychology*