Representing suicide: Giving voice to a desire to die?

Journal article


Marsh, I., Winter, Rachel and Marzano, Lisa 2021. Representing suicide: Giving voice to a desire to die? Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/13634593211046843
AuthorsMarsh, I., Winter, Rachel and Marzano, Lisa
AbstractDrawing on interview and online ethnographic data from a study of suicide on the railways, this paper describes the ways in which many of the concepts, assumptions and practices of mainstream suicide prevention are challenged in the accounts of those who are planning, or have enacted, a suicide attempt. We reflect on the ethical dilemmas which can arise for researchers (and practitioners) when lived experience accounts diverge – theoretically, morally and in terms of practical implications – from present-day expert ones. In online, ‘pro-choice’ suicide discussions, people describe beliefs, attitudes, ways of thinking and acting which stand in contrast to existing professional and clinical descriptions of suicide and suicidal behaviour. Most obviously, there is often a rejection of ‘pro-life’ positions, which are framed as ideological, oppressive and naïve. For researchers engaging in online ethnography of ‘pro-choice’ spaces, dilemmas can arise in relation to the representation of perspectives which fundamentally challenge not only prevailing norms within suicide research and prevention practice but socio-cultural norms more widely. Similar issues can arise when considering how best to represent research participants when their accounts diverge from accepted ‘expert’ knowledge and beliefs. In-depth qualitative interviews with those who have thought about or attempted to take their own life indicate that existing theories and models of suicide which start from assumptions of deficit and pathology underestimate the extent to which suicide, as the end result of an often-complex series of actions, requires a person to engage in logistical processes of planning, decision-making, imagination and adaptation. The accounts described here, gathered using two different methodological approaches, highlight the ethical issues which can surface when there are competing claims to (expert) knowledge, as well as differences in beliefs, attitudes and moral stance towards life and death. We argue that researchers need to reflect on their own ethical-moral position in relation to suicide, and on the practical consequences of their privileging of some voices at the expense of other, less well represented, ones.
KeywordsHealth(social science)
Year2021
JournalHealth: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine
Journal citation2021
PublisherSAGE Publications
ISSN1363-4593
1461-7196
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/13634593211046843
Official URLhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/13634593211046843
Publication dates
Print20 Sep 2021
Online20 Sep 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted10 Aug 2021
Deposited23 Sep 2021
Publisher's version
License
Output statusPublished
Additional information

Publications router: Date 2021-09-20 of type 'publication_date' with format 'electronic' included in notification
Publications router: Date 2021-09-20 of type 'epub' included in notification
Publications router: Date 2021-09-20 of type 'issued' included in notification

Page range136345932110468
Permalink -

https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8yv8x/representing-suicide-giving-voice-to-a-desire-to-die

Download files


Publisher's version
13634593211046843.pdf
License: CC BY 4.0

  • 7
    total views
  • 2
    total downloads
  • 5
    views this month
  • 1
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Strategies to stay alive: Adaptive toolboxes for living well with suicidal behavior
Scarth, B., Bering, J., Marsh, I., Santiago-Irizarry, V. and Andriessen, K. 2021. Strategies to stay alive: Adaptive toolboxes for living well with suicidal behavior. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18 (15), p. 8013. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18158013
Knowledge is made for cutting – An introduction
Jaworski, Katrina and Marsh, Ian 2020. Knowledge is made for cutting – An introduction. Social Epistemology. 34 (6), pp. 527-532. https://doi.org/10.1080/02691728.2020.1725924
Coercion or collaboration: service-user experiences of risk management in hospital and a trauma-informed crisis house
Prytherch, Hannah, Cooke, Anne and Marsh, Ian 2020. Coercion or collaboration: service-user experiences of risk management in hospital and a trauma-informed crisis house. Psychosis. 13 (2), pp. 93-104. https://doi.org/10.1080/17522439.2020.1830155
First-person accounts of the processes and planning involved in a suicide attempt on the railway
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
"The expert and the patient”: a discourse analysis of the house of commons’ debates regarding the 2007 Mental Health Act
Kent, T., Cooke, A. and Marsh, I. 2020. "The expert and the patient”: a discourse analysis of the house of commons’ debates regarding the 2007 Mental Health Act. Journal of Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/09638237.2020.1818706
Suicide on the railways in Great Britain: a multi-disciplinary analysis
Marsh, I., Marzano, L and Mosse, D 2020. Suicide on the railways in Great Britain: a multi-disciplinary analysis. Canterbury Christ Church University.
The social production of psychocentric knowledge in suicidology
Marsh, I. 2020. The social production of psychocentric knowledge in suicidology. Social Epistemology. 34 (6), pp. 544-554. https://doi.org/10.1080/02691728.2020.1725920
Introduction
Marsh, I. 2019. Introduction. in: Suicide and Social Justice: New Perspectives on the Politics of Suicide and Suicide Prevention New York; London Routledge. pp. 1-11
Suicide and social justice: discourse, politics and experience
Marsh, I. 2019. Suicide and social justice: discourse, politics and experience. in: Suicide and Social Justice: New Perspectives on the Politics of Suicide and Suicide Prevention New York; London Routledge. pp. 15-31
Problematic advice from suicide prevention experts
Hjelmeland, H., Jaworski, K., Knizek, B. and Marsh, I. 2019. Problematic advice from suicide prevention experts. Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. 20 (2), pp. 79-85. https://doi.org/10.1891/1559-4343.20.2.79
The philosopher of ambiguity: exploring stories of spirituality of people with aphasia through the lens of Merleau-Ponty
MacKenzie, S. and Marsh, I. 2018. The philosopher of ambiguity: exploring stories of spirituality of people with aphasia through the lens of Merleau-Ponty. Journal of Disability and Religion.
Historical phenomenology: understanding experiences of suicide and suicidality across time
Marsh, I. 2017. Historical phenomenology: understanding experiences of suicide and suicidality across time. in: Pompili, M. (ed.) Phenomenology of Suicide: Unlocking the Suicidal Mind Cham Springer. pp. 1-12
A pilot cluster randomised trial to assess the effect of a structured communication approach on quality of life in secure mental health settings: the Comquol study
MacInnes, D., Kinane, C., Parrott, J., Mansfield, J., Craig, T., Eldridge, S., Marsh, I., Chan, C., Hounsome, N., Harrison, G. and Priebe, S. 2016. A pilot cluster randomised trial to assess the effect of a structured communication approach on quality of life in secure mental health settings: the Comquol study. BMC Psychiatry. 16 (335). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-016-1046-8
Introduction: rethinking suicide
White, J., Marsh, I., Kral, M. and Morris, J. 2015. Introduction: rethinking suicide. in: White, J., Marsh, I., Kral, M. and Morris, J. (ed.) Critical suicidology: transforming suicide research and prevention for the 21st Century Vancouver UBC Press.
Developing a suicide prevention programme to address the increase in prison suicides in Kent
Marsh, I. and Harding, R. 2015. Developing a suicide prevention programme to address the increase in prison suicides in Kent. Canterbury
Boundaries, thresholds, and the liminal in youth suicide prevention practice
Marsh, I. and White, J. 2015. Boundaries, thresholds, and the liminal in youth suicide prevention practice. in: Scott-Mhyre, H., Pacini-Ketchabaw, V. and Scott-Mhyre, K. (ed.) Youth Work, Early Education, and Psychology New York Palgrave.
Critiquing contemporary suicidology
Marsh, I. 2015. Critiquing contemporary suicidology. in: White, J., Kral, M., Morris, J. and Marsh, I. (ed.) Critical Suicidology: Transforming Suicide Research and Prevention for the 21st Century Vancouver UBC Press. pp. 15-30
‘Critical suicidology': toward an inclusive, inventive and collaborative (post) suicidology
Marsh, I. 2015. ‘Critical suicidology': toward an inclusive, inventive and collaborative (post) suicidology. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective. 4 (5), pp. 6-9.
Suicide: the hidden cost of the financial crisis
Marsh, I. 2014. Suicide: the hidden cost of the financial crisis. New Statesman.
Developing a suicide prevention implementation plan for older adults in Kent and Medway
Flux, L. and Marsh, I. 2014. Developing a suicide prevention implementation plan for older adults in Kent and Medway.
A pilot trial assessing the effect of structured communication approach on quality of life in secure mental health settings (ComQuol) - service focused measures
MacInnes, D., Mansfield J., Kinane, C., Marsh, I. and Parrott, J. 2015. A pilot trial assessing the effect of structured communication approach on quality of life in secure mental health settings (ComQuol) - service focused measures.
A pilot trial assessing the effect of structured communication approach on quality of life in secure mental health settings (ComQuol) - user focused outcomes
MacInnes, D., Parrott, J., Mansfield, J., Kinane, C. and Marsh, I. 2015. A pilot trial assessing the effect of structured communication approach on quality of life in secure mental health settings (ComQuol) - user focused outcomes.
Service user perceptions of the ComQuol approach:focus group analysis
MacInnes, D., Mansfield, J., Marsh, I., Kinane, C. and Parrott, J. 2015. Service user perceptions of the ComQuol approach:focus group analysis.
The role of a mental health nurse in the ComQuol project: their perspective and involvements
MacInnes, D., Mansfield, J., Parrott, J., Marsh, I. and Kinane, C. 2015. The role of a mental health nurse in the ComQuol project: their perspective and involvements.
Clinicians and services users working collaboratively: the ComQuol study
MacInnes, D., Mansfield, J., Kinane, C., Parrott, J. and Marsh, I. 2015. Clinicians and services users working collaboratively: the ComQuol study.
A pilot trial to assess the effect of a structured COMmunication approach on QUality Of Life in secure mental health settings (Comquol)
MacInnes, D., Kinane, C., Parrott, J., Priebe, S., Craig, T., Marsh, I. and Eldridge, S. 2015. A pilot trial to assess the effect of a structured COMmunication approach on QUality Of Life in secure mental health settings (Comquol).
The uses of history in the unmaking of modern suicide
Marsh, I. 2013. The uses of history in the unmaking of modern suicide. Journal of Social History. https://doi.org/10.1093/jsh/shs130
Teaching participation in occupations to first year occupational therapy students: an action research study
Ghul, R. and Marsh, I. 2013. Teaching participation in occupations to first year occupational therapy students: an action research study. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 76 (2), pp. 101-107. https://doi.org/10.4276/030802213X13603244419310
Contexts of participation interactive resource
Ghul, R. and Marsh, I. 2009. Contexts of participation interactive resource.
Contexts of participation: the critical thinking tool
Marsh, I. and Ghul, R. 2007. Contexts of participation: the critical thinking tool.
Making sense of service user and carer narratives
Marsh, I. and Ghul, R. 2007. Making sense of service user and carer narratives.
Contextualising client narratives
Ghul, R. and Marsh, I. 2007. Contextualising client narratives.
The uses of history in the unmaking of modern suicide
Marsh, I. 2010. The uses of history in the unmaking of modern suicide.
Queering suicide: the figure of the problematic "suicidal homosexual" in psychiatric discourse
Marsh, I. 2010. Queering suicide: the figure of the problematic "suicidal homosexual" in psychiatric discourse. in: Scherer, B. (ed.) Queering Paradigms Oxford Peter Lang. pp. 141-159
Suicide: Foucault, history and truth
Marsh, I. 2010. Suicide: Foucault, history and truth. Cambridge Cambridge University Press.
The 'feminine' university: exploring the possibilities of radically re-thinking higher education within a Cixousian theoretical framework
Hoult, E. and Marsh, I. 2009. The 'feminine' university: exploring the possibilities of radically re-thinking higher education within a Cixousian theoretical framework.