'It’s like getting a group hug and you can cry there and be yourself and they understand': Family members’ experiences of using a suicide bereavement peer support group

Farzana Ali, Mike Lucock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Suicide bereavement support groups are a valuable source of help for people coping with a suicide and it is important to understand how they are beneficial, as well as ways in which they may be unhelpful or even detrimental. A constructivist grounded theory approach was implemented and17 family members bereaved by suicide were interviewed, along with seven participants in a focus group. The findings highlighted the difficulties for participants to adjust to the suicide, which motivated them to meet others in a peer suicide bereavement group who had shared a similar experience. This helped them to normalise their grief experiences and share ways of coping with the death. Some participants encountered practical challenges of accessing groups, found other ways of coping or described their needs as unmet. It is recommended that health services proactively provide bereaved families with timely and ongoing information on support available, including peer support groups, to minimise negative health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalBereavement Care
Volume39
Issue number2
Early online date16 Jul 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2020

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