Chapter 24: Suicide
1. A student has committed suicide. Which statement(s) about those left behind after suicide is accurate?
a. | A suicide makes survivors more conscious of risk factors and more motivated to reduce risk in themselves and others, leading to a reduced risk of suicide in survivor groups. |
b. | The first few weeks after a suicide are the most difficult and are when survivors are at highest risk; the risk then returns quickly to its pre-suicide level as time passes. |
c. | All survivors are at increased risk, should be assessed for risk at intervals after their loss, and would benefit from ongoing support primary intervention to reduce their risk. |
d. | Speaking of the dead increases the discomfort of surviving loved ones and should generally be avoided in their presence. |
All survivors, both family and peers, are at higher risk of suicide after their loss. Grief, guilt, despair, and modeling all contribute to this risk, as does the isolation that can sometimes follow because of the shame, discomfort, and stigma often associated with suicide. Although consciousness and preventive efforts (e.g., screenings) may increase following a suicide, the overall risk among surviving family members and peers is significantly increased nonetheless. The grief and other factors underlying this increased risk usually lasts for many months or even years, so the risk does not resolve in the weeks after the death. Regular contact to provide support and observe for indicators of risk should be continued for at least a year following the death and for even longer periods around the loved one’s birthday, family events, holidays and the anniversary of the loss, or if the risk has continued or independent risk factors exist. Most survivors feel isolated when their loved one is not mentioned. They usually want their loved one to be remembered, and talking about... [continues]
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