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Understanding suicide clusters through exploring self-harm: Semi-structured interviews with individuals presenting with near-fatal self-harm during a suicide cluster

Ann John Orcid Logo, Amanda Marchant Orcid Logo, Keith Hawton, David Gunnell, Louise Cleobury, Susan Thomson, Sarah Spencer, Michael Dennis, Keith Lloyd Orcid Logo, Jonathan Scourfield

Social Science & Medicine, Volume: 292, Start page: 114566

Swansea University Authors: Ann John Orcid Logo, Amanda Marchant Orcid Logo, Louise Cleobury, Susan Thomson, Michael Dennis, Keith Lloyd Orcid Logo

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Abstract

There was a highly publicised cluster of at least ten suicides in South Wales, United Kingdom, in 2007–2008. We carried out a qualitative descriptive study using cross-case thematic analysis to investigate the experiences and narratives of eight individuals who lived in the area where the cluster oc...

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Published in: Social Science & Medicine
ISSN: 0277-9536
Published: Elsevier BV 2022
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa58751
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We carried out a qualitative descriptive study using cross-case thematic analysis to investigate the experiences and narratives of eight individuals who lived in the area where the cluster occurred and who survived an episode of near-fatal self-harm at the time of the cluster. Interviews were conducted from 01.01.2015 to 31.12.2015. All interviewees denied that the other deaths in the area had affected their own suicidal behaviour. However, in other sections of the interviews they spoke about the cluster contributing to difficulties they were experiencing at the time, including damage to social relationships, feelings of loss and being out of control. When asked about support, the interviewees emphasized the importance of counselling, which they would have found helpful but in most cases did not receive, even in the case of close contacts of individuals who had died. The findings suggest that effective prevention messaging must be subtle, since those affected may not be explicitly aware of or acknowledge the imitative aspects of their behaviour. This could be related to stigma attached to suicidal behaviour in a cluster context. Lessons for prevention include changing the message from asking if people &#x2018;have been affected by&#x2019; the suicide deaths to emphasising the preventability of suicide, and directly reaching out to individuals rather than relying on people to come forward.</abstract><type>Journal Article</type><journal>Social Science &amp; Medicine</journal><volume>292</volume><journalNumber/><paginationStart>114566</paginationStart><paginationEnd/><publisher>Elsevier BV</publisher><placeOfPublication/><isbnPrint/><isbnElectronic/><issnPrint>0277-9536</issnPrint><issnElectronic/><keywords>Suicide; Suicide cluster; Self-harm; Qualitative interviews</keywords><publishedDay>1</publishedDay><publishedMonth>1</publishedMonth><publishedYear>2022</publishedYear><publishedDate>2022-01-01</publishedDate><doi>10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114566</doi><url/><notes/><college>COLLEGE NANME</college><department>Health Data Science</department><CollegeCode>COLLEGE CODE</CollegeCode><DepartmentCode>HDAT</DepartmentCode><institution>Swansea University</institution><apcterm>SU College/Department paid the OA fee</apcterm><funders>Health and Social Care Research Wales (grant number SCS-12-14).</funders><lastEdited>2021-12-03T17:25:42.7549409</lastEdited><Created>2021-11-22T23:22:32.1753265</Created><path><level id="1">Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences</level><level id="2">Swansea University Medical School - Medicine</level></path><authors><author><firstname>Ann</firstname><surname>John</surname><orcid>0000-0002-5657-6995</orcid><order>1</order></author><author><firstname>Amanda</firstname><surname>Marchant</surname><orcid>0000-0001-7013-6980</orcid><order>2</order></author><author><firstname>Keith</firstname><surname>Hawton</surname><order>3</order></author><author><firstname>David</firstname><surname>Gunnell</surname><order>4</order></author><author><firstname>Louise</firstname><surname>Cleobury</surname><order>5</order></author><author><firstname>Susan</firstname><surname>Thomson</surname><order>6</order></author><author><firstname>Sarah</firstname><surname>Spencer</surname><order>7</order></author><author><firstname>Michael</firstname><surname>Dennis</surname><order>8</order></author><author><firstname>Keith</firstname><surname>Lloyd</surname><orcid>0000-0002-1440-4124</orcid><order>9</order></author><author><firstname>Jonathan</firstname><surname>Scourfield</surname><order>10</order></author></authors><documents><document><filename>58751__21783__159a003795a84232a95a31dac6c68a4f.pdf</filename><originalFilename>58751.pdf</originalFilename><uploaded>2021-12-03T17:24:18.5501146</uploaded><type>Output</type><contentLength>808480</contentLength><contentType>application/pdf</contentType><version>Version of Record</version><cronfaStatus>true</cronfaStatus><documentNotes>This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license</documentNotes><copyrightCorrect>true</copyrightCorrect><language>eng</language><licence>http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/</licence></document></documents><OutputDurs/></rfc1807>
spelling 2021-12-03T17:25:42.7549409 v2 58751 2021-11-22 Understanding suicide clusters through exploring self-harm: Semi-structured interviews with individuals presenting with near-fatal self-harm during a suicide cluster ed8a9c37bd7b7235b762d941ef18ee55 0000-0002-5657-6995 Ann John Ann John true false 0776f450dd575004ba7c69930c579cae 0000-0001-7013-6980 Amanda Marchant Amanda Marchant true false 119d86e7504ead14305a27512467d058 Louise Cleobury Louise Cleobury true false 49b7b0c8615721cd340fa88a0aabc088 Susan Thomson Susan Thomson true false e2fb156498bd28a936b34e986dfa01b7 Michael Dennis Michael Dennis true false a13aaa0df9045c205e82ed3b95d18c10 0000-0002-1440-4124 Keith Lloyd Keith Lloyd true false 2021-11-22 HDAT There was a highly publicised cluster of at least ten suicides in South Wales, United Kingdom, in 2007–2008. We carried out a qualitative descriptive study using cross-case thematic analysis to investigate the experiences and narratives of eight individuals who lived in the area where the cluster occurred and who survived an episode of near-fatal self-harm at the time of the cluster. Interviews were conducted from 01.01.2015 to 31.12.2015. All interviewees denied that the other deaths in the area had affected their own suicidal behaviour. However, in other sections of the interviews they spoke about the cluster contributing to difficulties they were experiencing at the time, including damage to social relationships, feelings of loss and being out of control. When asked about support, the interviewees emphasized the importance of counselling, which they would have found helpful but in most cases did not receive, even in the case of close contacts of individuals who had died. The findings suggest that effective prevention messaging must be subtle, since those affected may not be explicitly aware of or acknowledge the imitative aspects of their behaviour. This could be related to stigma attached to suicidal behaviour in a cluster context. Lessons for prevention include changing the message from asking if people ‘have been affected by’ the suicide deaths to emphasising the preventability of suicide, and directly reaching out to individuals rather than relying on people to come forward. Journal Article Social Science & Medicine 292 114566 Elsevier BV 0277-9536 Suicide; Suicide cluster; Self-harm; Qualitative interviews 1 1 2022 2022-01-01 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114566 COLLEGE NANME Health Data Science COLLEGE CODE HDAT Swansea University SU College/Department paid the OA fee Health and Social Care Research Wales (grant number SCS-12-14). 2021-12-03T17:25:42.7549409 2021-11-22T23:22:32.1753265 Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences Swansea University Medical School - Medicine Ann John 0000-0002-5657-6995 1 Amanda Marchant 0000-0001-7013-6980 2 Keith Hawton 3 David Gunnell 4 Louise Cleobury 5 Susan Thomson 6 Sarah Spencer 7 Michael Dennis 8 Keith Lloyd 0000-0002-1440-4124 9 Jonathan Scourfield 10 58751__21783__159a003795a84232a95a31dac6c68a4f.pdf 58751.pdf 2021-12-03T17:24:18.5501146 Output 808480 application/pdf Version of Record true This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license true eng http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
title Understanding suicide clusters through exploring self-harm: Semi-structured interviews with individuals presenting with near-fatal self-harm during a suicide cluster
spellingShingle Understanding suicide clusters through exploring self-harm: Semi-structured interviews with individuals presenting with near-fatal self-harm during a suicide cluster
Ann John
Amanda Marchant
Louise Cleobury
Susan Thomson
Michael Dennis
Keith Lloyd
title_short Understanding suicide clusters through exploring self-harm: Semi-structured interviews with individuals presenting with near-fatal self-harm during a suicide cluster
title_full Understanding suicide clusters through exploring self-harm: Semi-structured interviews with individuals presenting with near-fatal self-harm during a suicide cluster
title_fullStr Understanding suicide clusters through exploring self-harm: Semi-structured interviews with individuals presenting with near-fatal self-harm during a suicide cluster
title_full_unstemmed Understanding suicide clusters through exploring self-harm: Semi-structured interviews with individuals presenting with near-fatal self-harm during a suicide cluster
title_sort Understanding suicide clusters through exploring self-harm: Semi-structured interviews with individuals presenting with near-fatal self-harm during a suicide cluster
author_id_str_mv ed8a9c37bd7b7235b762d941ef18ee55
0776f450dd575004ba7c69930c579cae
119d86e7504ead14305a27512467d058
49b7b0c8615721cd340fa88a0aabc088
e2fb156498bd28a936b34e986dfa01b7
a13aaa0df9045c205e82ed3b95d18c10
author_id_fullname_str_mv ed8a9c37bd7b7235b762d941ef18ee55_***_Ann John
0776f450dd575004ba7c69930c579cae_***_Amanda Marchant
119d86e7504ead14305a27512467d058_***_Louise Cleobury
49b7b0c8615721cd340fa88a0aabc088_***_Susan Thomson
e2fb156498bd28a936b34e986dfa01b7_***_Michael Dennis
a13aaa0df9045c205e82ed3b95d18c10_***_Keith Lloyd
author Ann John
Amanda Marchant
Louise Cleobury
Susan Thomson
Michael Dennis
Keith Lloyd
author2 Ann John
Amanda Marchant
Keith Hawton
David Gunnell
Louise Cleobury
Susan Thomson
Sarah Spencer
Michael Dennis
Keith Lloyd
Jonathan Scourfield
format Journal article
container_title Social Science & Medicine
container_volume 292
container_start_page 114566
publishDate 2022
institution Swansea University
issn 0277-9536
doi_str_mv 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114566
publisher Elsevier BV
college_str Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
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hierarchy_top_id facultyofmedicinehealthandlifesciences
hierarchy_top_title Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
hierarchy_parent_id facultyofmedicinehealthandlifesciences
hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
department_str Swansea University Medical School - Medicine{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences{{{_:::_}}}Swansea University Medical School - Medicine
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description There was a highly publicised cluster of at least ten suicides in South Wales, United Kingdom, in 2007–2008. We carried out a qualitative descriptive study using cross-case thematic analysis to investigate the experiences and narratives of eight individuals who lived in the area where the cluster occurred and who survived an episode of near-fatal self-harm at the time of the cluster. Interviews were conducted from 01.01.2015 to 31.12.2015. All interviewees denied that the other deaths in the area had affected their own suicidal behaviour. However, in other sections of the interviews they spoke about the cluster contributing to difficulties they were experiencing at the time, including damage to social relationships, feelings of loss and being out of control. When asked about support, the interviewees emphasized the importance of counselling, which they would have found helpful but in most cases did not receive, even in the case of close contacts of individuals who had died. The findings suggest that effective prevention messaging must be subtle, since those affected may not be explicitly aware of or acknowledge the imitative aspects of their behaviour. This could be related to stigma attached to suicidal behaviour in a cluster context. Lessons for prevention include changing the message from asking if people ‘have been affected by’ the suicide deaths to emphasising the preventability of suicide, and directly reaching out to individuals rather than relying on people to come forward.
published_date 2022-01-01T04:11:32Z
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