HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE SERVICES SHOULD TARGET MOTHERS BEREAVED BY SUICIDE
Health and social care professionals should target mothers bereaved by suicide, as in their intense prolonged grief many have suicidal thoughts themselves, according to a study to be presented to a major psychotherapy conference in Dublin.
The Conference “Gathering of Psychotherapists…. 21 years on, will be held in the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire on Friday, October 18.
It will be officially opened by Mr. Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of Barnardos, children’s charity.
The Conference, which will consist of lectures, workshops and panel discussions, will mark the 21st birthday of the Irish Association of Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy. (IAHIP)
One of the Conference objectives is to reach a vision of the value and values of psychotherapy.
The study on mothers bereaved by suicide will be presented by Joan Sugrue, who holds MSc in Bereavement Studies from the RCSI in association with The Irish Hospice Foundation.
She said: “Purposive sampling was used to recruit seven biological mothers who had lost a child through suicide, five of whom were recruited through a local organisation called Console. One-to-one interviews were conducted with each participant (tape recorded with consent), transcribed and subjected to an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.
“The results revealed that mothers experienced an intense, prolonged grief, with many psychological and physical symptoms. Several participants acknowledged strong suicidal thoughts and one mother had attempted suicide. The misuse of medication/alcohol was also identified, by some, women, as a coping strategy. Other findings related to the participants’ reasons for wanting to die in order to be with their child and the impact of guilt and blame on their belief system.
“The study findings suggest a need for health and social care professionals to