Practitioners' experiences of adolescent suicidal behaviour in peer groups

Briggs, Stephen, Slater, Thomas and Bowley, Julia (2017) Practitioners' experiences of adolescent suicidal behaviour in peer groups. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing . ISSN 1365-2850

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Introduction Group suicidal behaviour by young people can have harmful effects; it may be increasing, influenced by online media and reported increasing self-harm rates; new knowledge and understanding to inform interventions is required. Aim To explore how practitioners experience group suicidal behaviour amongst adolescents, how they assess risks/ needs, and how these insights inform understanding about these groups. Method 10 practitioners, including Mental Health Nurses, were interviewed in one multidisciplinary CAMHS, in England. Data analysis was by Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke 2006). Results Participants described frequently working with suicidal groups. Roles in groups include suicide encouraging and preventing. Practitioners identify risky and protective connections between young people, online and offline. Clinical tensions include living with suicidal risks, emotional and positional challenges, and getting to grips with digital media. Discussion Peer-groups appear to have a larger role in adolescent suicide than recognised to date. Practitioners need to assess young people's roles in groups, their diverse motivations, and to understand constantly changing digital media. Implications for Practice Assessments of suicide risk for young people should routinely include focus on peer relations including the online/digital realm. Maintaining relationships with vulnerable young people facilitates managing fluctuating risks and understanding different group dynamics.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Accepted manuscript online: 21 March 2017
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adolescents, Peer-Groups, Qualitative Studies, Thematic Analysis, Self-Harm, Suicide Clusters
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Adolescents- Psychology
Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Suicide
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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