First-person accounts of the processes and planning involved in a suicide attempt on the railway

Journal article


Marsh, I. 2020. First-person accounts of the processes and planning involved in a suicide attempt on the railway. BJPsychOpen. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2020.173
AuthorsMarsh, I.
Abstract

Background
The processes and planning involved in people choosing and attempting to die by a particular method of suicide are not well understood. Accounts from those who have thought about or attempted suicide using a specific method might allow us to better understand the ways in which people come to think about, plan and enact a suicide attempt.

Aims
To understand from first-person accounts the processes and planning involved in a suicide attempt on the railway.

Method
Thematic analysis was conducted of qualitative interviews (N = 34) undertaken with individuals who had contemplated or attempted suicide by train.

Results
Participants explained how they decided upon a particular method, time and place for a suicide attempt. Plans were described as being contingent on a number of elements (including the likelihood of being seen or interrupted), rather than being fixed in advance. Participants mentally rehearsed and evaluated a particular method, which would sometimes involve imagining in detail what would happen before, during and after an attempt. The extent to which this involved others (train drivers, partners, friends) was striking.

Conclusions
By giving people free reign to describe in their own words the processes they went through in planning and undertaking a suicide attempt, and by not interpreting such accounts through a lens of deficit and pathology, we can arrive at important insights into how people come to think and feel about, plan and enact a suicide attempt. The findings have implications in terms of understanding suicide risk and prevention more broadly.

KeywordsSuicide; Railways; Suicidal process; First-person accounts
Year2020
JournalBJPsychOpen
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN2056-4724
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2020.173
Official URLhttp://doi.org/10.1192/bjo.2020.173
Publication dates
Online20 Jan 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted30 Dec 2020
Deposited18 Jan 2021
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8wz48/first-person-accounts-of-the-processes-and-planning-involved-in-a-suicide-attempt-on-the-railway

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