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Do They Suffer More? Reflections on Research Comparing Suicide Survivors to Other Survivors


  • This article was made possible thanks to the Conseil Québécois de Recherche Sociale and the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Montreal, which funded the project Le Suicide: Un Secret de Famille.

University of Montreal, Faculty of Health Sciences, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3c 3J7; phone: (514) 343–7488; fax: (514) 343–2306; E-mail:


This article contrasts public perceptions of suicide survivors with conclusions based on comparative studies of suicide, fatal accident survivors, and other survivors. Although suicide is commonly thought to cause a particularly burdensome grief, quantitative studies have often failed to support this. We then offer some interpretations of these findings and suggest future pathways for research.