Journal article

"Don't bother about me." The grief and mental health of bereaved adolescents

Karl Andriessen, Jane Mowll, Elizabeth Lobb, Brian Draper, Michael Dudley, Philip B Mitchell

DEATH STUDIES | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2018

Abstract

Death of a relative or friend is a potentially disruptive event in the lives of adolescents. To provide targeted help, it is crucial to understand their grief and mental health experiences. Thematic analysis of 39 semistructured telephone interviews yielded two themes: Grieving apart together and Personal growth. High self-reliance and selective sharing were common. Feelings of guilt and "why" questions seemed more pronounced among the suicide bereaved. There was strong evidence of personal growth, increased maturity, and capacity to deal with personal mental health/suicidality. Despite its devastating effects, experiencing a death can be a catalyst for positive mental health.

Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

The study was supported by the Anika Foundation for Adolescent Depression and Suicide. The funding body had no role in the design of the study, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, the writing of the report, and the decision to submit it for publication.