The authors aim to educate mental health practitioners and trainees regarding the issues of stigma and suicide and how stigma impacts this diverse population of suicide at tempters, completers, their families, friends, therapists, and others both personally and therapeutically.
The authors draw upon their own experiences as survivors and review pertinent literature illustrating the history and general impacts of this stigmatization. The authors present suggestions to diminish stigma both for survivors and the general public.
Although there appears to have been some diminution in the stigmatization of the mentally ill over the past few decades, there appears to be less diminution in the stigma associated with suicide and suicide-survivorship.
Mental illness, in general, has become less stigmatized in recent years but suicide remains nearlyas stigmatized as ever.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Gould MS, Shaffer D: The impact of suicide in TV movies: evidence of imitation. New England J Medicine 1986; 315: 690–694
Gould MS, Shaffer D, Kleinman M: The impact of suicide in televised movies: replication and commentary. Suicide Life Threat Behav 1988; 18: 90–99
Link B: Stigma research and current perspectives. Keynote address in Proceedings from Stigma and Mental Illness: A Working Forum. UMDNJ, Piscataway, N.J., Oct 2003, pp 5–13
Hendin H, Lipschitz A, Maltsberger JT, et al: Therapist’s reactions to patients’ suicides. Am J Psychiatry 2000; 157: 2022–2027
Jones FA Jr: Therapists as survivors of client suicide, in Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counseling Survivors. Edited by Dunne E, Mcintosh JL, Dunne-Maxim K. New York, WW Norton & Co., 1987, pp 126–141
Corrigan P (ed): On the Stigma of Mental Illness: Practical Strategies for Research and Social Change. Washington, D.C., American Psychological Association Press, 2005
McIntosh JL: Control group studies of suicide survivors: a review and critique. Suicide Life Threat Behav 1993; 23: 146–161
Lester D: The stigma against dying and suicidal patients: a replication of Richard Kalish’s study 25 years later. Omega J Death Dying 1992; 26: 71–75
Rudestam KE: Public perceptions of suicide survivors, in Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counseling Survivors. Edited by Dunne E, McIntosh JL, Dunne-Maxim K. New York, WW Norton & Co., 1987, pp 31–44
Rudestam KE, Imbroll D: Societal reactions to a child’s death by suicide. J Consult Clin Psychol 1983: 51: 461–462
Hauser MJ: Special aspects of grief after a suicide, in Suicide and its Aftermath: Understanding and Counseling Survivors. Edited by Dunne E, McIntosh JL, Dunne-Maxim K. New York, WW Norton & Co., 1987, pp 57–70
Calhoun LG, Selby JW, Selby LE: The psychological aftermath of suicide: an analysis of current evidence. Clin Psychol Rev 1982; 2: 409–420
Range LM: When a loss is due to suicide: unique aspects of bereavement, in Perspectives on Loss a Sourcebook: Death, Dying & Bereavement. Edited by Harvey JH. Philadelphia, Brunner/Mazel, Inc., 1998, pp 213–220
Pfeffer CR, Karus D, Siegel K, et al: Child Survivors of parental death from cancer or suicide: depressive and behavioral outcomes. Psychooncology 2000; 9: 1–10
Webb NB: Suicidal death of mother: cases of silence and stigma, in Helping Bereaved Children: A Handbook for Practitioners. Edited by Webb NB. New York, Guilford Press, 1993, pp 137–155
Rando TA: Treatment of Complicated Mourning. Chicago, Research Press, 1993, p 525
Schneidman ES: Deaths of Man. New York, Quadrangle Books, 1973
Dunne-Maxim K, Dunne E: Family involvement in suicide prevention and postvention: psychoeducational perspective, in Suicide: An Unnecessary Death. London, Martin Dunitz, 2001
Sudak HS: Suicide, in Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 8th ed. Edited by Sadock B, Sadock V Philadelphia, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2005, pp 2442–2453
Roy A, Rylander G, Sarchiapone M: Genetic studies of suicidal behavior. Psychiatr Clin North Am 1997; 20: 595–611.
Pesaresi J: When one of us is gone, in Suicide and its Aftermath. Edited by Dunne EJ, McIntosh J, Dunne-Maxim K. New York, WW Norton & Co., 1987, p 104
Requarth M: After a Parent’s Suicide: Helping Children Heal. Sacramento, Calif., Healing Hearts Press, 2006, p 5
Salvatore A: Recovering from a Suicidal Loss: A Handbook for Survivors. Abington, Pa., Kalnin Printing, Inc., 2004, p 6
About this article
Cite this article
Sudak, H., Maxim, K. & Carpenter, M. Suicide and Stigma: A Review of the Literature and Personal Reflections. Acad Psychiatry 32, 136–142 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ap.32.2.136
- Mental Illness
- Support Group
- Academic Psychiatry
- Suicide Prevention
- Suicide Death