The impact of suicide bereavement: what clinicians should know and what researchers should investigate next

Between 48 million and 500 million people are thought to experience suicide bereavement every year. Over the past decade, increased policy attention has been directed towards suicide bereavement, but with little evidence to describe the effect of exposure or to provide appropriate responses. More recent evidence identifies a clear increased risk of suicide after the suicide of a relative or friend, as well as increased risk of psychiatric disorder and occupational drop-out. This talk will summarise the effects of suicide bereavement on mortality, mental health, and social functioning, and review the evidence for interventions delivered after suicide bereavement. It will explore how clinicians should change their practice to minimise distress and promote help-seeking, and where researchers should direct their attention in seeking to explain the associations between suicide bereavement and adverse outcomes, particularly suicide risk.