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Background: People who lost a loved one to suicide (i.e., suicide loss survivors, SLS) often struggle to talk about their experiences. However, previous studies suggest beneficial effects of disclosure among this group. Aims: This study aimed to identify determinants of disclosing suicide loss. Method: We conducted qualitative interviews with 22 female SLS focusing on determinants of disclosing suicide loss. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Results: We identified contextual factors, perceived risks, and perceived benefits as determinants of disclosing suicide loss. Contextual factors included social settings and characteristics of conversation partners. Perceived risks included emotional distress among oneself and others as well as stigma-related risks of disclosing. Perceived benefits included participants' desire for authenticity and social support, as well as positive effects for grieving and fighting suicide stigma. Limitations: Findings are limited to the current female sample. Conclusion: SLS need support in identifying safe places for disclosure and in developing coping strategies to deal with suicide stigma and emotional distress experienced by themselves and others. Future research should investigate the general public's ability and attitudes to provide support after suicide loss and investigate disclosure decisions among male SLS.

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Journal article



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disclosure, grief, qualitative, secrecy, suicide loss