Ethnic minority groups’ experiences of suicide bereavement: a qualitative exploratory study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Pauline Rivart
  • Shirley Smith
  • Barry McGale

Abstract

It is estimated that between 36,000 and 360,000 people are affected by suicide every year in the UK, and a proportion may develop depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, or engage in high-risk behaviours. Recent systematic analyses have revealed a clear gap in research on suicide bereavement in minority ethnic groups. This study aimed to understand the experiences and support needs of individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds bereaved by suicide and was the first in the UK to investigate this matter. The study was a secondary analysis of data. Participants were 7158 people residing in the UK who completed an online survey about their experiences of suicide. Free-text qualitative responses of 227 participants who did not identify as White British were analysed using thematic analysis. Four themes were identified: maladaptive coping strategies, emotional processes following suicide, lack of support from agencies, and the importance of mental health awareness. Ethnic minority groups reported a lack of support despite attempts to engage with services, noted the prevalence of stigma within ethnic minority groups, and expressed a need to tackle this. These preliminary results suggest that ethnic minority individuals require visible and accessible services that can successfully engage with and support them.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Article number11860
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021