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Title: Learning from the Bereaved by Suicide in the Face of Stigma
Contributor(s): Ratnarajah, Dorothy (author); Maple, Myfanwy  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2011
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Abstract: Three qualitative research studies have been undertaken in Australia into the bereavement experience following the suicide of a family member. Narrative inquiry was used to interpret the data gathered from the in-depth interviews with bereaved informants. This methodology allowed for the exploration of the complex and influential aspects of the informant's grief experiences, such as relatedness to the deceased, the informant's age at the time of death, developmental influences, family patterning, and the environmental and social context in which the family lived. This analysis allowed in-depth exploration of the meaning making undertaken by the bereaved family members following the loss of a family member to suicide. Stigma was a pervasive finding through all three studies, in relation to the end of life decisions of the deceased family member, along with those bereaved. It was common that all those bereaved by the suicide of a family member spoke of being silenced in their grief, of not being able to speak openly of their deceased family member, of shaming and blaming experienced from neighbours, their communities and family members. Frequently, the stigma of a suicidal death resulted in fractures or breakdown in the wider family system. This chapter will inform its readers of the wide ranging damaging effects of stigma in relation to suicide, in that it prevents those who have suicidal thoughts from seeking help prior to their decision to die, and for those bereaved by suicide from being able to share their grief and find understanding.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Making Sense of Suicide, p. 105-112
Publisher: Inter-Disciplinary Press
Place of Publication: Oxford, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9781848880689
Field of Research (FOR): 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Probing the Boundaries
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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