How is participating in suicide prevention activities experienced by those with lived and living experiences of suicide in Australia? A qualitative study

McKay, Kathy, Wayland, Sarah and Maple, Myfanwy (2020) How is participating in suicide prevention activities experienced by those with lived and living experiences of suicide in Australia? A qualitative study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 . ISSN 1660-4601 Full text available

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Abstract

People with a lived experience of suicide are commonly included within suicide prevention research. This includes participation in conferences, policy development, research and other activities. Yet little is known about the impact on the person in the long term of regularly sharing one’s experience to different audiences and, in some cases, to a schedule not of your choosing. This qualitative study asked twenty people to share their reflections of being lived experience representatives within suicide prevention. Participants varied in the length of time they had been sharing their stories, and how they shared with different audiences. These narratives were thematically analysed within a reflective framework, including field notes. Four broad themes were noted that highlighted participants’ recommendations as to how the lived experience speaker training could grow alongside suicide prevention activities to facilitate safe activities that include a shared understanding of the expected outcome from participation. The environment for people with lived experience of suicide to tell their stories already exists, meaning that the suicide prevention sector needs to move quickly to ensure people understand the variety of spaces where lived experience needs to be incorporated, evaluated and better supported. When lived experience is a valued inclusion in the creation of effective and appropriate suicide prevention research and interventions, those who share their experience must be valued and supported in a way that reflects this. This study recommends strategies to practically and emotionally support speakers, including ways to ensure debriefing and support, which can enhance the longevity of the speakers in the suicide prevention space by valuing the practical and emotional labour required to be suicide prevention representatives, with an outcome recommendation for best practice guidelines for those who engage people with lived experience in suicide prevention activities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article belongs to the Special Issue: Suicidal Behavior as a Complex Dynamical System
Uncontrolled Keywords: Research & Development Unit
Subjects: Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Suicide
Department/People: Special Units
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2653

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