A Special Scar: The Experience of People Bereaved by Suicide by Alison Wertheimer

By Alison Wertheimer

Each eighty five mins somebody within the united kingdom takes their very own lifestyles, yet what occurs to these left at the back of? In a society the place suicide is usually considered with worry or disapproval, it may be tricky for these in my view plagued by a suicide demise to come back to phrases with their loss and search aid and help. a unique Scar seems intimately on the stigma surronding suicide and gives functional support for survivors, family members and pals of people that have taken their very own existence. Fifty bereaved humans inform their very own tales, displaying us that, via now not hiding the reality from themselves and others, they've been in a position to discover ways to stay with the suicide, providing desire to others dealing with this demanding loss. This new, revised version comprises new fabric on:* counselling survivors of suicide* crew paintings with survivors.The new fabric comprises the newest examine findings that have extra considerably to our figuring out of the influence of suicide, a space which the united kingdom executive has certain for motion within the psychological future health enviornment. This re-creation will remain a useful source for survivors of suicide in addition to for all people who are in touch with them, together with police and coroner's officials, bereavement prone, self-help companies for survivors, psychological well-being execs, social employees, GPs, counsellors and therapists.Alison Wertheimer has been operating as a contract author and researcher due to the fact 1987, after operating within the voluntary region for 20 years. She has a personal counselling perform, is a manager with a bereavement counselling provider and runs workshops at the impression of suicide bereavement.

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1993a). Young people are a vulnerable group in mental health terms as they negotiate the transition to adulthood. This, combined with the fact that young males have an above-average suicide rate, makes it imperative that their peers are offered support following a suicide death. Survivors may be complete strangers. They may have found the body while out walking, or they may be drivers whose car or train ‘killed’ the person. They may only need short-term support, but ‘such support is important, if the long-term effects of post-traumatic stress disorder are to be minimised’ (King 1997:5).

Other survivors responded to a letter in the now-defunct weekly magazine New Society. The remainder were identified through personal contacts, and through other survivors. It was not my intention to conduct a formal and methodologically rigorous research study and the fifty people interviewed were not selected in any systematic way, so how representative are they of survivors in general? Do they represent a range of survivors in terms of their circumstances, reactions and coping abilities, or are they a group with particular problems?

Litman and colleagues (1970) also found that the experience could help to lessen the survivor’s guilt and make acceptance of the death easier. 18 A Special Scar Alongside the psychological autopsies, a number of mental health professionals with an interest in this area began to explore the impact of suicide on families and friends. Some of their findings were published in Survivors of Suicide (Cain 1972), the first major work to describe the experiences of suicide survivors. In the following year, Shneidman (cofounder of the Los Angeles Suicide Prevention Center) suggested that in the case of suicide, the largest public health problem was not suicide prevention or the management of attempted suicide, but how to alleviate the effects of suicide on those left behind (1973, quoted in Barrett and Scott 1990:1–2).

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