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What are the impacts of suicide?

If you were involved in the care of the person who has suicided, you might also be affected by suicide bereavement. In this case, you face managing your emotions (eg sense of loss, personal or professional failure), often while needing to provide support to the bereaved family and community members.8

Suicide bereaved individuals are at increased risk of developing adverse physical and mental health reactions including:

  •  suicidal ideation and suicide
  •  complicated grief or prolonged grief disorder
  •  PTSD
  •  depression
  •  substance-use disorders.8,25,35,38–41

Suicide-bereaved children are also at increased risk of depression, anxiety and PTSD.42

The social stigma that many suicide-bereaved individuals experience can be a major inhibiting factor to help-seeking and may prevent participation in suicide postvention interventions.8


  1. Suicide Prevention Australia. Position statement: Suicide bereavement and postvention. Leichhardt, NSW: Suicide Prevention Australia, 2009.
  2. Schrieber J, Culpepper L. Suicide ideation and behavior in adults. UpToDate, 2016.  [Accessed 17 January 2016].
  3. Shear MK, Reynolds CF, Simon N, Zisook S. Grief and bereavement in adults: Clinical features. UpToDate, 2015.  [Accessed 10 February 2016].
  4. Jordan J, McIntosh J. Suicide bereavement: Why study survivors of suicide loss. In: Jordan J, McIntosh J, editors. Grief after suicide: Understanding the consequences and caring for the survivors. New York: Routledge, 2011.
  5. Wittouck C, Van Autreve S, Portzky G, van Heeringen K. A CBT-based psychoeducational intervention for suicide survivors: A cluster randomised controlled study. Crisis 2014;35(3):193–201.
  6. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 5th edn (DSM-5). Arlington: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
  7. Hedström P, Liu K-Y, Nordvik MK. Interaction domains and suicide: A population-based panel study of suicides in Stockholm, 1991–1999. Social Forces 2008;87(2):713–40.


After suicide: A resource for GPs