A person’s suicide can increase the chances of suicide attempt of his or her family member or friend.
Suicide is one of the most harmful things in the life of people left behind. Researchers from the University College London found that people, who have faced the suicide of a family member or friend, have 65% more chances of attempting suicide as compared to those people, who have faced the sudden death of their loved ones due to some other cause. Moreover, people, who have faced the suicide of their loved ones, have shown 80% more chances of drop out from school or work.
In the study, researchers worked with 3,432 participants in the age range of 18 years to 40 years. Those participants also faced the sudden death of a family member or friend. Researchers compared the response of those, who faced suicide, with those, who faced sudden death due to certain other cause. “Adults bereaved by suicide had a higher probability of attempting suicide than those bereaved by sudden natural causes,” researchers reported.
This research also provides some insights on how to appropriately deal with those bereaved by suicide. Society has to know that those people, who have faced the suicide of their loved ones, also face more social stigma about the death. “British people [are often] uncomfortable talking about death, and suicide, in particular, [is] perceived as a taboo subject,” explains study author Alexandra Pitman.
“People bereaved by suicide should not be made to feel in any way responsible, and should be treated with the same compassion as people bereaved by any other cause,” Pitman said. “Suicide is a complex issue and there is often no simple explanation for why someone chooses to take their own life. Although one often hears people refer to a relationship breakup or a redundancy as the trigger for a suicide, this is far too simplistic and, in reality, it is often a culmination of different life events rather than one individual ‘cause.'”
“We know that people can find it difficult to know what to say to someone who has recently been bereaved,” Pitman said. “However, saying something is often better than saying nothing, and simple gestures like offering practical help with day-to-day activities can mean a lot. For example, when a colleague bereaved by suicide returns to work after compassionate leave then it could be helpful to ask how they are and offer to help them with their workload. Employers should be aware of the significant impact that suicide bereavement has on people’s working lives and make adjustments to help their staff return to work.”
UCL News – 1 in 10 suicide attempt risk among friends and relatives of people who die by suicide – http://goo.gl/t9bvnn
Pitman, A., Osborn, D., Rantell, K., & King, M. (2016). Bereavement by suicide as a risk factor for suicide attempt: a cross-sectional national UK-wide study of 3432 young bereaved adults BMJ Open, 6 (1) DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009948