Suicide: Helping Survivors Cope

Suicide: Helping Survivors Cope

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By Joseph Cirigliano, MA, MS

Suicide: helping survivors cope

Why do individuals commit suicide?

Despite its prevalence, suicide remains highly stigmatized and survivors of suicide often suffer in silence in fear of being judged and criticized. This paper will first examine the prevalence of suicide, focusing on gender, culture, method, and mental illness. Further, this paper aims to explore the impact suicide has on parents, siblings, children, peers, spouses, attempters, and therapist survivors. A thorough examination of the areas of greatest difficulty each survivor group experiences will be done. Finally, a thorough review of treatment guidelines and efficacy will be explored. With these goals, the hope is to shape the therapist’s understanding of the suicide based upon the relationship to the victim of suicide, and guide treatment based upon the available evidence of treatment efficacy.


Based upon 2004 statistical data (Laughinrichsen-Rohling, Friend, & Powell, 2009) suicide was identified as the third leading cause of death among…

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