Back from the Brink: The Experience of Hospital after a Suicide Attempt, and What Happens When You Go Home

Kerri Patricia Jackson , M.HSc., B.SSc,Anthony Welch , PhD, MEd, BEd, BN, Graduate Diploma (Counselling), Dip Appld Sc (NEd), RN & Shane Hopkinson , B Soc Sci (Hons) PhD, GCTE Dip Fam Hist

Published online: 01 May 2020


Key proponents of suicide prevention around the world have been calling for research to focus on people who have survived a suicide attempt in the belief that people with this experience are an important but neglected source of information, with a great deal to contribute to the field of suicidology. This paper concerns the period in the immediate aftermath of a suicide attempt: the experiences of being hospitalised; discharged; returning home to the same struggle with suicidality and mental illness; difficulties with other people; and the side effects of medication. The methodology underpinning the study was descriptive phenomenology in the tradition of Edmund Husserl. The researcher conducted taped, face-to-face interviews of 1–2 hours with eight, adult volunteers and asked them to share their experience of re-engaging with life after a suicide attempt. What is of particular interest in this research are new findings on the way patients can help each other find a pathway to self-acceptance and the beginning of hope; and on the experience of returning home following a suicide attempt. These findings have the potential to inform mental health professionals, and improve existing mental health and suicide prevention practice by providing insight into the personal experiences of service users at this critical time in their life.

Please note I have about 40 copies I can give away. If you would like to read the whole thing, please email me for a copy

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