Exposure to suicide and suicide bereavement among women firefighters: Associated suicidality and psychiatric symptoms


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Objective: To examine experiences with suicide exposure and bereavement among women firefighters. Methods: Women firefighters (N = 266, Mage = 37.64y) completed self‐report measures assessing their experiences with suicide exposure, history of suicidality, current psychiatric symptoms, and suicide risk. Results: Three‐fourths (74.4%) of participants reported knowing someone who had died by suicide; of these participants, 31.3% reported losing a fellow firefighter to suicide. Exposure to suicide during one’s firefighting career was associated with more severe psychiatric symptoms and suicide risk. Greater impact of a suicide death was significantly associated with more severe current suicide risk, even after controlling for prior suicidality and other psychiatric symptoms. Conclusions: Women firefighters exposed to suicide during their careers may experience more severe psychiatric symptoms and increased suicide risk as compared to their counterparts without this exposure. In particular, women firefighters who are more severely impacted by a suicide loss may be at increased suicide risk.

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