Suicide Notes: Assessing Their Impact on the Bereaved

William Feigelman, Rebecca Sanford, Julie Cerel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Although suicidologists have devoted great interest toward the importance of suicide notes, scant attention has been paid to their impact upon the suicide bereaved. Method: To address this issue we conducted on an online survey querying 146 mostly American suicide bereaved adults who indicated severe emotional distress after their losses, 80% of whom had lost first degree-relatives. Results: We found no significant differences in mental health outcomes between those who received suicide notes and those who had not; nor were differences noted between those whose notes contained helpful or unhelpful information and those who had not received such information. Conclusion: We also observed poorer mental health outcomes among the suicide bereaved who expected to receive a suicide note after their loved one died—and did not receive any communication– indicating needs for clinical support among this vulnerable subgroup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-867
Number of pages9
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The American Association of Suicidology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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