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Religions 2018, 9(5), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9050153

Spiritual and Religious Issues in the Aftermath of Suicide

School of Social Work Fribourg, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland, Rue J. Prouvé 10, 1762 Givisiez, Switzerland
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention, Religion and Spirituality)
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Abstract

Introduction: Spirituality and religion have only been marginally investigated in the experiences of the bereaved by suicide (or survivors of suicide). Aim: This article directly addresses two questions: In what way was spirituality or religion an issue for survivors of suicide? How were they helpful (or not) during their reconstruction process? Method: Research involved qualitative studies, carried out in Switzerland with 50 survivors of suicide using in depth-interviews. Data were analyzed according to grounded theory principles. Results: Suicide triggered questioning mainly about the afterlife of the deceased and of how transcendency relates to agency and responsibility in the suicidal act. Spiritual or religious issues play an important role in the process of reconstruction for survivors, notably in meaning-making and responsibility-clarifying processes, in forging a continuing bond with the deceased and in honoring their life and memory. Nevertheless, this role is complex and can either support or make the recovery difficult (or both). Conclusion: Mental health and social care professionals may support survivors’ resilience and their reconstruction process by valuing the constructive aspects of their spiritual and religious experiences and by taking into account the spiritual and religious struggles they face to offer effective support to survivors of suicide during recovery. View Full-Text
Keywords: survivors of suicide; bereaved by suicide; spirituality; religion; meaning making; clarifying responsibility; rites; qualitative study; grounded theory survivors of suicide; bereaved by suicide; spirituality; religion; meaning making; clarifying responsibility; rites; qualitative study; grounded theory
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Dransart, D.A.C. Spiritual and Religious Issues in the Aftermath of Suicide. Religions 2018, 9, 153.

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