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Grief after Suicide: Effective Interventions for Adults & Adolescents

Grief after Suicide: Effective Interventions for Adults & Adolescents

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Presented by

Karl Andriessen,

PhD, MSuicidology, BSW

Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne

Adjunct Senior Lecturer

School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales

Research Fellow

KU Leuven, University of Leuven, Belgium

USD$99 for 3-hour module

Experiencing a death by suicide can have a profound impact on those left behind.  In addition to feelings of shock, guilt, anxiety, anger and rejection, they commonly struggle with daunting “why” questions that have no easy or consoling answers.  People bereaved by suicide also present increased risks of depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and suicidal behavior compared to other bereaved and non-bereaved counterparts.  While most research in the field has focused on these adverse outcomes, there is a growing body of evidence that many of those experiencing this tragic loss also report posttraumatic growth—a positive psychological transformation that occurs through a process of meaning-making and struggling with a highly challenging and stressful event.

Informed by the literature and his own research, Karl offers a comprehensive conceptualization of grief after suicide in the context of contemporary grief models, and summarizes what is known about the efficacy of interventions provided to bereaved adults, distilling the ingredients of effective support in both personal and professional contexts.  He then goes on to focus on the impact of suicide on family systems and how best to support young people attempting to move toward an adulthood shadowed by the experience of traumatic loss.


  • Summarize characteristics of grief after suicide, including how it compares to other forms of bereavement and 'complicated’ grief;

  • Describe conditions that facilitate the processing of grief after suicide in psychotherapy; 

  • Evaluate evidence for the effectiveness of support provided to people bereaved by suicide;

  • Identify the potential therapeutic components of interventions to best help adolescents and adults who are survivors of suicide loss; and

  • Conceptualize one’s own role and that of various interventions within a public health framework.

Note:  Completion of this program and return of the Responsive Journal satisfies 1 Orientation Module required for Certification in Grief Therapy as Meaning ReconstructionCertification in Family-Focused Grief Therapy or Certification in Grief Therapy for Suicide Bereavement.


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. The Scope of Suicide Loss:  A Continuum Model (46 mins)
  2. The Impact of Suicide Bereavement:  From Prolonged Grief to Posttraumatic Growth (42 mins)

  3. Efficacy of Interventions and Adolescent Survivors (49 mins)

  4. The Lived Experience of Tragic Loss in Youth:  A Closer Examination (47 mins)



Guest Presenter

Karl Andriessen, PhD, MSuicidology, BSW is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Australia, an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, and a Research Fellow at the KU Leuven, University of Leuven, Belgium.  Karl’s involvement in the field of suicide bereavement and suicide prevention is rooted in clinical practice, starting 30 years ago in Belgium as a Social Worker in youth and family counselling and telephone crisis lines, followed by leading positions in suicide prevention, bereavement, community mental health, and policy development.  He serves as Co-Chair of the Special Interest Group on Suicide Bereavement of the International Association of Suicide Prevention and is an advisor to several projects in the field of suicide prevention and bereavement.  He is the recipient of several awards and has published widely, including the landmark handbook Postvention in action: The international handbook of suicide bereavement support (Hogrefe, 2017), and serves as Associate Editor of Death Studies.

Karl Andriessen,
PhD, MSuicidology, BSW

Karl Andriessen - Photo.jpeg

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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