The continuum of "survivorship": definitional issues in the aftermath of suicide

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2014 Dec;44(6):591-600. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12093. Epub 2014 Apr 7.


In light of prevailing confusion over the meaning of the term "suicide survivor," we propose a more exact terminology for designating different levels of impact on those left behind by suicide, ranging on a continuum from those exposed to suicide through those who are affected by it and finally to those who are bereaved by suicide in the short- or long-term, as a function of their loss of a close emotional attachment through this tragic form of loss. We briefly note the possible utility of this terminological specificity in promoting more clearly targeted research and intervention efforts, and call for closer investigation of various categories of "survivorship" in future studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Bereavement*
  • Family / psychology
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Suicide / psychology*
  • Survivors / psychology*