Teenage suicides: Study advocates greater family support

Apr 21, 2008

Teenage suicide is often perceived as the result of rejection of family, significant others and of society. Families affected by teenage suicide often look back for warning signs and clues in order to make sense of the tragedy. With the recent teenage suicides in Bridgend, South Wales, there have been demands for improved suicide prevention strategies. However little attention is paid to those families who have already lost their teenage sons or daughters.

Research published in the open access journal, BMC Psychiatry, has highlighted a key role for general practitioners in organising long-term, individually formulated support schemes for those affected.

A research team from Umeå University has already identified the phenomenon of cluster suicides where one suicide appears to have a ‘contagious’ effect triggering further suicidal activities and even suicide among other teenagers in a community. General practitioners were identified as having a key role in providing support for the family and close contacts of victims to potentially prevent further suicides.

Following this initial study, the same group has attempted to investigate in more depth the aftermath of suicide on families.

Based on data from a large project on unnatural teenage deaths in northern Sweden (1981-2000), the team led by Per Lindqvist retrospectively analysed 10 cases. The researchers examined the qualitative aspects of loosing a teenage family member due to suicide, including post-suicidal reactions, impacts on daily living, and the families’ need for support after the event.

At the time of the research, the participants were still struggling to explain why the suicide had occurred. Although most had returned to an ostensibly normal life, they were still profoundly affected by their loss. They highlighted that post-suicide support was often badly timed and insufficient, especially for younger siblings and said they would welcome earlier assistance from friends, family and the clergy.

Lindqvist comments “There is a need for better understanding and treatment schemes for families who have lost a teenage family member in suicide, and especially for the younger siblings who often are forgotten”.

The general practitioner was again identified as a key person in organising a support strategy for the families of suicide victims. This support would not only prevent emotional contagion, but would actively help families in the aftermath of a teenage suicide.

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Is UK shale gas extraction posing a risk to public health?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sociology professors asks 'Is teenage suicide contagious?'

Apr 11, 2014

A paper on teenage suicide written by two assistant professors of sociology at the University of Memphis will be published in the field's flagship journal, the American Sociological Review, in April. "Are Suicidal Behavi ...

Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz dies at 26

Jan 13, 2013

A co-founder of Reddit and activist who fought to make online content free to the public has been found dead, authorities confirmed Saturday, prompting an outpouring of grief from prominent voices on the intersection of free ...

Indian youth suicide crisis baffles

Mar 21, 2011

(AP) -- Chelle Rose Follette fashioned a noose with her pajamas, tying one end to a closet rod and the other around her neck. When her mother entered the bedroom to put away laundry, she found the 13-year-old ...

Recommended for you

Obama: 8 million signed up for health care (Update)

13 hours ago

President Barack Obama said Thursday 8 million Americans have signed up for health care through new insurance exchanges, besting expectations and offering new hope to Democrats who are defending the law ahead ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Leeches help save woman's ear after pit bull mauling

(HealthDay)—A pit bull attack in July 2013 left a 19-year-old woman with her left ear ripped from her head, leaving an open wound. After preserving the ear, the surgical team started with a reconnection ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

Venture investments jump to $9.5B in 1Q

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.