Year: 2020 Source: Crisis. (2020), 41(3), 214-224. SIEC No: 20200654

Background: Bereavement after a sudden death is associated with psychiatric sequelae including suicidal ideation and behavior. However, there is still uncertainty about whether bereavement due to suicide increases the risk for suicidal behavior more than bereavement due to other causes of death does. Aims: This study aimed to evaluate suicidal risk among sudden death-bereaved participants and to identify risk factors for suicidality that may be over-represented in those who are suicide-bereaved. Method: In total, 180 adult participants, half of whom had experienced the sudden death of a first-degree relative within the previous 5 years, completed self-report questionnaires assessing suicidal risk, symptoms of depression, somatization, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), complicated grief, perceived social support, and demographic information. Results: Sudden death bereavement was associated with increased suicide risk even after adjusting for psychiatric symptomatology. Within the bereaved groups, the highest risk for suicide was among those bereaved by suicide, with additional contributions from depressive symptomatology, PTSD, somatization, lower perceived social support, and secular religious orientation. Limitations: The study was cross-sectional and bereaved participants had lost their loved one an average of 5 years before the assessment. Conclusion: These results are consistent with the conclusion that suicide bereavement is a risk factor for suicidal behavior.