National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Clinical Challenges Following an Adolescent's Death by Suicide: Bereavement Issues Faced by Family, Friends, Schools, and Clinicians

Parrish, M.,
Tunkle, J.
Year Published: 2005
Journal Article.
Springer Science+Business Media Inc.
Clinical Social Work Journal, 33(1):81-102, July 2005.
University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, England

Given the increasing prevalence of adolescent deaths by suicide, social workers are increasingly likely to be called upon to respond to traumatically bereaved families, peers, and possibly professional colleagues following an adolescent's death by suicide. These authors discuss current trends in adolescent suicide and review the literature on risk factors, including demographic factors, predisposing mental health factors, family factors, and stressors and recent precipitators. Using a case scenario of an adolescent girl's death by suicide, the authors explore clinical aspects of complex bereavement following suicide, particularly issues of stigma, shame, guilt, and blame. They offer guidance for effective clinical follow-up with family members, friends and peers, school staff, and clinicians who survive a child's death by suicide. Modified Author Abstract.

Correspondence to: Margarete Parrish, M.S.W., Ph.D., L.C.S.W.-C, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, England; Email:, Website:
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