The Impact of Suicide on the Family

Little research has examined the consequences of a suicide for social or family networks. Because suicide occurs within families, the focus on the aftermath of suicide within families is an important next step to determine exactly how to help survivors. In this article, we review and summarize the research on the impact of suicide on individuals within families and on family and social networks. We begin with a discussion of family changes following suicide. Next, we discuss the effects of suicide on social networks overall and responses of children and the elderly to a suicide in the family. Finally, we identify key issues that remain to be resolved in family survivor research and make recommendations for future studies.