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Responding to Grief and Trauma After A Suicide


1. Postvention refers to an organized response in the aftermath of a suicide to accomplish which of the following?

A. To facilitate the healing of individuals from the grief and distress of suicide loss.

B. To mitigate other negative effects of exposure to suicide.

C. To prevent suicide among people who are at high risk after exposure to suicide.

D. Any or all of the above.

2. It has been found that there are an estimated 4.5 - 7.5 extended family and other social network members who meet the criterion of being “intimately and directly affected” by a suicide.

A. True

B. False

Suicide Exposure: The Continuum Model

3. People exposed to a suicide will fit into survivorship categories based on:

A. The person’s title, role, and relationship in reference to the deceased.

B. The person’s reaction to the death.

C. Both (A) and (B).

D. None of the above.

4. Those in the “affected” survivorship category include those for which the effects of the exposure may be mildly troublesome or more severe, short term or long term and for which the effects are directly related to grief over the loss of the personal relationship with the deceased.

A. True

B. False

5. The short-term bereaved individuals, over the span of their lifetime, will do all of the following, except for:

A. Feel occasional pangs of grief.

B. Periodically yearn for the company of the deceased.

C. Experience the loss as a seminal or transformational event in their own life narrative.

D. “Lose themselves” in memories or regrets about the deceased.

The Nature of Suicide Bereavement

6. What is crucial to the experience of grief is the loss survivor’s perception of the degree of choice in the death.

A. True

B. False

7. Survivors of suicide loss are potentially affected by which source of trauma?

A. Psychological trauma

B. Direct exposure

C. Imagined exposure

D. All of the above

8. Suicide bereavement is most similar to grief after:

A. A traumatic or violent death

B. A sudden, unexpected death

C. A natural death

D. None of the above

9. It is not unusual for loss survivors to feel compelled to conduct their own personal “inquest” or “psychological autopsy” into the death, focusing on learning as much as possible about what led to the death; the mental state of the deceased; and when, where, and how their loved one died.

A. True

B. False

10. The answer many survivors of suicide loss arrive at when they ask “Am I responsible?” is “No.”

A. True

B. False

11. Suicide is sometimes seen as the most powerful form of abandonment or rejection possible, because from the point of view of the bereaved, the deceased “chose” death over continuing to live in relationship with the survivor.

A. True

B. False

12. The conviction that suicide could happen to anyone, or that suicide “can come out of the blue,” can leave loss survivors wary and hypervigilant over the safety of other loved ones.

A. True

B. False

Research on the Impact of Suicide

13. Data clearly show that exposure to suicidal behavior or a fatality raises the risk of subsequent suicide in people who have been exposed.

A. True

B. False

14. Men who have a spouse die of suicide have a _____-fold increase in their chances of dying of suicide.

A. 46

B. 16

C. 10

D. 3

15. All of the following are independent risk factors for both an early onset of first-attempt suicide and for making additional attempts, except for:

A. A childhood history of trauma.

B. Male gender.

C. A family history of suicidal behavior.

D. All of the above are independent risk factors.

16. Among teens, having a friend who died by suicide increases both suicide ideation and attempts for at least _____ following the loss.

A. 1 year

B. 3 years

C. 5 years

D. 7 years

17. There is an increased risk of suicide in:

A. Parents bereaved by the suicide of an offspring.

B. Offspring bereaved by the suicide of a parent.

C. Partners bereaved by suicide.

D. All of the above.

Meeting the Needs of the Suicide Bereaved

18. Which of the following is information useful to survivors?

A. Talking with the coroner and/or reading the suicide note.

B. When and how to seek professional help.

C. Talking about the suicide with others.

D. All of the above.

19. Observations of many people bereaved by suicide suggests that significant members of their social networks are often stunned into silence and inaction by the suicide, greatly reinforcing the survivors’ sense of isolation.

A. True

B. False

20. Related research on homicide survivors suggest that larger networks containing more people to try to help are:

A. Perceived as more supportive.

B. Associated with less complicated grief outcomes for survivors.

C. Both (A) and (B).

D. None of the above.

21. Research suggests that professional bereavement interventions may be most effective for at-risk mourners and that efficacy is greatest when clients are first screened for demonstrated need.

A. True

B. False

22. Which of the following is a need of bereaved children and adolescents?

A. Reassurance that someone will take care of their basic physical and emotional needs.

B. Support for exploring feelings of responsibility and affirmation that they did not cause the death.

C. Opportunities to tell the story of their loss in their own words.

D. All of the above.

23. Which of the following interventions may be especially relevant for bereaved children?

A. Expressive arts

B. Private counseling

C. Animal-assisted therapy

D. All of the above

Organizational Support after a Suicide

24. In order to contain any negative consequences of a suicide, authorities should suppress information about the death and/or interfere with plans to memorialize the deceased.

A. True

B. False

25. Postvention planning should include outreach to high-risk people over time, particularly around:

A. Holidays

B. Anniversaries of the death

C. The deceased’s birthday

D. All of the above

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