Year: 2006 Source: South African Family Practice, v.48, no.4, (2006), p.16-20 SIEC No: 20070025

The aim of this study was to understand how families bereaved by suicide fuctioned before & after the death. In-depth interviews were conducted with 6 focus groups selected from 36 families. Themes identified were a shocking experience, no chance of survival, triggering factors, mystery, emotional & physical scars, & coping strategies. The perception of witchcraft being responsible featured prominently in the data analysed. The functioning of families was markedly reduced after the suicide. It is recommended attention be given especially to the perception of witchcraft being responsible for the death. Support groups for bereaved families are also recommended. (10 refs.)