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Suicide Life Threat Behav. 1999 Winter;29(4):353-64.

The suicide survivor's grief and recovery.

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  • 1Mental and Behavioral Health Department, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70808, USA.


While official estimates report approximately 30,000 completed suicides each year, some researchers claim the numbers range much higher. Each suicide has severe and prolonged effects on the family members and friends left behind. Those left behind, the survivors of the suicide, tend to experience a very complicated form of bereavement. This is due to the combination of the sudden shock, the unanswered question of "why," and possibly the trauma of discovering or witnessing the suicide. Survivors' grief reactions can become even more exacerbated by inappropriate responses from the community to the suicide. A mental health professional can help the survivor through this difficult grieving process by direct and indirect means.

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