Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

D'Urso, Scott

Second Advisor

Puckering, Catherine

Third Advisor

Robb, Jaime


Within the realm of communication there is a lack of research surrounding suicide-related conversations and management of that shared information. Twenty-five percent of people who intend to end their lives by suicide disclose their intentions or thoughts to someone else (Stone et al., 2018). This study seeks to understand the content and conversations surrounding suicide-related disclosures that lead to boundary management with the following outcomes: Saving lives, generating discussion points for suicide-related conversations, and understanding how to rebuild relationships affected by a suicide-related disclosure.Communication around suicide can be polarizing and complex. Qualitative interviewing offers the flexibility and dynamic that provides an environment where participants can fully express their experiences. During these interviews, participants were asked to reflect on their overall experience with a suicide-related disclosure, and provide any insight or advice to confidants of those disclosures who could potentially face a similar situation. Five themes emerged from these interviews: (a) providing emotional support; (b) establishing boundaries and expectations; (c) checking in and following up; (d) conversation management; and (e) bringing in someone else to help. The recommendations discovered in this study provide confidants who experience a suicide-related disclosure the tools and guidance needed to provide support to those who are struggling.


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