Suicide Cultures: reimagining suicide research
Dr Amy Chandler
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Most research about suicide takes a psychological or psychiatric perspective, on the understanding that it is primarily a ‘mental health issue’. However, it is increasingly accepted that suicide is also related to social and cultural factors – to socioeconomic inequalities, gender relations and social identities. To prevent suicide, we need to conduct research that helps us better understand how these complex factors contribute to suicides.
This project will revitalise existing understandings of suicide by examining the dynamic relationships between suicide and social and cultural factors. We will study suicide in three areas of Scotland, by interviewing people bereaved by suicide and people who have self-harmed, alongside analysis of formal reviews of suicides. We will also carry out participatory arts workshops with diverse communities, and embed researchers in these communities so they can develop deep, contextual understandings of how society and culture shape suicides among different people in different places.