A Special Scar: The Experiences of People Bereaved by Suicide

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Psychology Press, 2001 - Psychology - 270 pages
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Every 85 minutes someone in the UK takes their own life, but what happens to those left behind? In a society where suicide is often viewed with fear or disapproval, it can be difficult for those personally affected by a suicide death to come to terms with their loss and seek help and support. A Special Scar looks in detail at the stigma surronding suicide and offers practical help for survivors, relatives and friends of people who have taken their own life. Fifty bereaved people tell their own stories, showing us that, by not hiding the truth from themselves and others, they have been able to learn to live with the suicide, offering hope to others facing this traumatic loss. This new, revised edition includes new material on:
* counselling survivors of suicide
* group work with survivors.
The new material incorporates the latest research findings which have added significantly to our understanding of the impact of suicide, an area which the UK Government has targeted for action in the mental health arena. This new edition will continue to be an invaluable resource for survivors of suicide as well as for all those who are in contact with them, including police and coroner's officers, bereavement services, self-help organisations for survivors, mental health professionals, social workers, GPs, counsellors and therapists.
Alison Wertheimer has been working as a freelance writer and researcher since 1987, after working in the voluntary sector for twenty years. She has a private counselling practice, is a supervisor with a bereavement counselling service and runs workshops on the impact of suicide bereavement.
 

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Contents

Introduction
3
Survivors of suicide
17
Meeting the survivors
35
Looking back
53
Why did it happen? The search for understanding
66
The inquest
79
Funerals
90
The impact of suicide on individual family members
108
Facing the feelings
149
Finding a way through
166
Meeting the needs of survivors
181
Groups for people bereaved by suicide
196
Counselling people bereaved by suicide
215
Postscript
237
The people interviewed
244
Name index
257

Facing the world
124
Looking for support
136

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