A suicide attempt is an major event that creates harm on both family and close relatives, that can be measured in terms of traumatic stress and medico-economic impact (costs). Each year, 3.750.000 French people are concerned by a suicide attempt of a relative (or close person).
Male or female, older than 16, being a relative of a suicide attempter (i.e. living in the same house as the suicide attempter). 171 families were included (171 suicide attempters and 171 « family informants »). These subjects were compared to IRDES datas on French population (Institute of Research and Documentation on Health Economy ; sample of 20.000 subjects, representing 95% of the French families). All subjects were reassessed by phone at 3 month and 1 year.
80% of the relatives declare “being fine” at 1 year; the 20% that declare being “not so well” are important to qualify, the sooner after the suicide attempt. An explicative model trying to evaluate the risk of being “not so well” at 1 year is possible ; this model is highly represented by the psychotraumatic impact of the confrontation with the suicide attempt.
On the economic plan, we can observe a great stability in healthcare contacts at 1 year (hospitalizations, GP or Specialists contacts, other kind of care contact…), contrasting with a big increase in medication use (× 2.37 in comparison with IRDES population); all the medication types being concerned, psychotropic and others.
The question of a self-medication partly unconscious is raised.