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Title: "Suicide can't always be prevented, but it can be postponed": Lived experiences of providing care and support to people who suicide attempt, and those who have gone on to die by suicide
Contributor(s): Maple, Myfanwy  (author)orcid ; Wayland, Sarah  (author)orcid ; McMahon, Andrew (author); McGill, Katie (author); Bhullar, Navjot  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2020-11
Open Access: Yes
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Open Access Link: Access Link

Background and purpose

There is currently very limited information about the impact of suicide attempts on the wellbeing of those close to the person before, during or after the attempt. This involves family members, friends, work colleagues, those studying or playing sport together and a range of other relationships. Some may be involved in formal caring roles, while others may be more peripherally involved. All included in this report have been affected by the suicidal thoughts, behaviours and/or death of another. Many have sought to assist the person in accessing the support and provided care for the person to try to prevent their suicide. Not all survived. The impact on those around them is described as profound, and many also have struggled with their own suicidal thinking and behaviours prior to, or following, the support they were providing to another. There are stark differences for these two groups in how they understand suicide and their navigation of the support systems. For the purposes of this report, unless otherwise specified, all are collectively referred to as 'carers' to acknowledge that all were in some way caregiving to their person. This term is wholly inadequate to encapsulate this experience, yet we do not have another word as yet to describe the breadth of these caregiving relationships. There is a wide continuum of caregiving roles, some are intimate kinship relationships, while others are informal caring roles without deep emotional connections. The quote provided by participants throughout this report are provided verbatim, and depict these differing roles, and the activities undertaking to try and support the suicidal person; given freely yet at considerable personal cost.

This report is drawn from the analysis of two datasets; 1) University of New England, Lived Experience of Suicide Study (2019-2020) and 2) a collaborative project between the University of New England and SANE Australia - the Better Support project (2017-2020). Each dataset is analysed through the lens of seeking to understand the carer experience, as well as the ways in which the perceived reasons for attempting, impact of provision of care and engagement with the system (defined differently within each data set).

Publication Type: Report
Publisher: University of New England
Place of Publication: Armidale, Australia
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520302 Clinical psychology
520303 Counselling psychology
420303 Family care
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 280112 Expanding knowledge in the health sciences
200409 Mental health
280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology
HERDC Category Description: R1 Report
Publisher/associated links:
Extent of Pages: 78
Appears in Collections:Report
School of Health
School of Psychology

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