Year: 2022 Source: Crisis. (2021). 43(2):98-104. SIEC No: 20220296

Background: People bereaved by suicide often face isolation, complicated grief, and increased suicide risk. Aims: We aimed to explore how live-chat can support survivors in their bereavement process. Method: A thematic analysis was carried out on 30 live-chat conversations through the software ATLAS.ti8. Transcripts were retrieved from a major Italian association providing online support. The users had different ages (18–60 years), degrees of kinship with the deceased (blood-related and not), and time distance from the loss (between 48 hr and 10 years). Results: Five themes were identified: meaning-making, reactions to the loss, resources, needs, and interactions with the operator. Survivors used the live-chat as a safe space in which to disclose nonsocially desirable details and to make sense of suicide through the reconstruction of events and the deceased’s motivations. Given the limited social resources and the dissatisfaction with the available formal support, users resorted to justification, rationalization, or faith and found support and reassurance in the live chats. Limitations: Some conversations were fragmented and lacked detailed information on the users. Conclusion: Because of their anonymity and accessibility, live-chats represent a valid first-line form of support, from which survivors may obtain useful information and start a meaning-making process.