A new conceptual framework proposes that offering assistance to people in the aftermath of suicide ought to include everyone who is exposed to a fatality (Cerel, McIntosh, Neimeyer, Maple, & Marshall, 2014). This view, if adopted by the field, would significantly expand, focus, and strengthen the delivery of postvention services. The graphic above illustrates how the proposed categories are nested within one another and describes each one: Suicide Exposed, Suicide Affected, and Suicide Bereaved Short-Term and Long-Term. Delivering services and support based on this perspective would reach many people whose needs are currently not being addressed (or addressed only marginally); and, just as importantly, doing so would help grief support practitioners and researchers clearly identify different populations in need and tailor interventions to assist them effectively. Determining how a particular individual might be categorized would not be linked to the person’s designation, role, or relationship in reference to the deceased. Rather, each person’s reaction to the death would determine the category into which he or she would be classified.
The Grief After Suicide blog post about this essay is at http://bit.ly/falloutsuicide.