Year: 2023 Source: Current Research in Behavioral Sciences. (2023). 5(1), 1-7. DOI: SIEC No: 20231763

Suicide bereavement is a risk factor for suicide and psychiatric illness. Its lifetime prevalence in the general population is estimated at 22%, and in one (US) veteran sample as 47%, but no estimates exist for a UK veteran sample. We aimed to measure the lifetime prevalence of suicide bereavement in a clinical sample of UK veterans to inform service provision for this group. Our secondary aim was to measure the prevalence of loneliness and investigate the association between suicide bereavement and loneliness. We searched the routine electronic clinical records of all veterans treated in a London veterans’ crisis care service over the period September 2021 to June 2022 (n=69), capturing data on their sociodemographic and clinical characteristics, including the proportions recorded as having experienced the suicide of a friend or relative and as experiencing loneliness. We used multivariable logistic regression models to test for an association of suicide bereavement with loneliness. The lifetime prevalence of suicide bereavement was 30% (predominantly of friends) and the period prevalence of loneliness was 57%. There was no association of suicide bereavement with loneliness. This work highlights the high proportion of veterans in this clinical sample with two specific suicide risk factors, and their likely needs for specific support to address the psychological consequences of suicide loss.