Year: 2016 Source: Crisis.(2016).37(2):95-103. doi: 10.1027/0227-5910/a000358 SIEC No: 20160343

BACKGROUND: Previous research has failed to examine perceptions of stigma experienced by individuals with a history of suicidal behavior, and few studies have examined how stigma is experienced based on whether it was perceived from treatment providers or social network members. AIMS: This study examined stigma experienced by individuals with previous suicidal behavior from both treatment providers and individuals in one’s social and family networks. METHOD: Individuals (n = 156) with a lifetime history of suicidal behavior were recruited through the American Association of Suicidology listserv. RESULTS: Respondents reported the highest rates of perceived stigma with a close family member (57.1%) and emergency department personnel (56.6%). Results indicated that individuals with previous suicidal behavior were more likely to experience stigma from non-mental health providers and social network members than from mental health providers. A hierarchical regression model including both source and type of stigma accounted for more variance (R(2) = .14) in depression symptomology than a model (R(2) = .06) with only type of stigma. Prevalence of stigma perceived from social network members was the best predictor of depression symptom severity. CONCLUSION: These findings highlight the need for future research on how social network members react to suicide disclosure and potential interventions for improving interactions following disclosure.