World Suicide Prevention Day | What assumptions do suicide prevention initiatives make?

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(This is the third post in this series; my first post discusses the most popular current theory of suicide as well as some statistics on it, while my second post talks about what suicide prevention means in practice.)

In the previous posts about World Suicide Prevention Day, I looked at what research currently says about suicide, and at what ways organisations and societies try to prevent suicide. In this post, I’m going to look more closely at what these methods assume about suicide prevention, and if those assumptions make sense.

1) There is a good reason to exclude workplaces and jobs from this conversation.

When first searching generally online, links to suicide “post-vention” appear more readily than for prevention. However, there are some useful resources online, mostly created by Australian mental health organisations.

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World Suicide Prevention Day | What is meant by Suicide Prevention?

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(This is the second post in this series; my first post discusses the most popular current theory of suicide as well as some statistics on it.)

In the lead-up to this years WSPD I’ve seen many videos aimed at individuals who currently feel suicidal, encouraging them not to act on that feeling. But that can’t be the full story for such a large goal as preventing suicide. So, my question for today is- what does “suicide prevention” actually mean? What areas does it cover, and how does it work?

According to Wikipedia, suicide prevention is “the collective efforts of citizen organisations, health professionals and related professionals to reduce the incidence of suicide”. This is centred on direct intervention accompanied by four supporting parts: treating depression, improving people’s coping strategies, reducing risk factors for suicide, and giving people hope.

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World Suicide Prevention Day | How is suicide currently understood?

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(This is the first post in this series; later posts will discuss suicide prevention strategies and the evidence supporting them.)

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day of awareness held by the International Association of Suicide Prevention (IASP) alongside the World Federation for Mental Health and the World Health Organisation.

After reading about the day and the organisations involved, I was curious about how suicide is understood from a research perspective, and what explanations or theories about suicide are used to talk about suicide prevention. This post covers a widely-used theoretical approach – the Interpersonal-Psychological theory of suicide. The interpersonal-psychological theory (IPT for short) was first created by Joiner (2005), and is the theory used to guide the IASP.

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