When a Patient Dies From Suicide: A Survey Among Mental Health Professionals in Israel

Or Cohen Ben Simon, Anat Brunstein Klomek, Yael Pomerance, Liza Idelman, Michal Lavidor, Yari Gvion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Death of patients by suicide can have powerful impacts on mental health professionals (MHPs). The National Program for the Prevention of Suicidality and Suicide at Israel’s Ministry of Health decided to invest in MHPs who have lost patients by suicide. Two hundred and two MHPs completed an online self-report survey regarding their emotional response, professional identity, and clinical practice, and the aid they felt would be supportive following a patient’s suicide. Results indicated that 35% of MHP experienced at least one death of a patient by suicide. Respondents experienced difficult emotional reactions, and many felt responsible for the suicide. Nearly 50% reported that the patient’s suicide affected their clinical practice. Most respondents reported the need for a support framework and information about the processes following a patient’s suicide. It is important to increase awareness of the possibility of losing a patient by suicide and offer an appropriate supportive framework.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOmega: Journal of Death and Dying
Early online date21 Nov 2023
StatePublished Online - 21 Nov 2023


  • mental health professional
  • patient suicide
  • postvention
  • suicide
  • support needs

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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