Critical Suicidology
298 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jul 2016
Release Date:02 Dec 2015
Release Date:02 Dec 2015

Critical Suicidology

Transforming Suicide Research and Prevention for the 21st Century

UBC Press

Globally, suicides account for a significant number of premature deaths every year. Traditional approaches to research and prevention are not working for everyone, but why is this? And what can be done about it?

In Critical Suicidology, a team of international scholars, practitioners, and people directly affected by suicide argue that mainstream research models obscure the social, political, and historical contexts that contribute to human suffering. Combining personal experience with theoretical insights, this rich volume challenges the current orthodoxy governing suicide prevention in the West. Going beyond critique, it proposes alternative approaches that are creative, socially just, and culturally responsive.

This book is a must-read for practitioners, policy makers, and researchers working in mental health services and related disciplines and for anyone who wants to make suicide prevention not simply a goal but an achievement.

This book is a must-read for practitioners, policy makers, and researchers working in mental health services, psychology, counselling, social work, psychiatry, medicine, philosophy, sociology, suicidology, feminism, anthropology, critical disability studies, and cultural studies.

This powerful book presents a convincing and rigorous critique of the limitations of the dominant biomedical paradigm. By bringing together scholars, practitioners, and those who have been affected by suicide, it offers new ways to think about suicide that do not pathologize distress or inequality. Quite simply, it encourages people to live. Elizabeth McDermott, senior lecturer, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University

Jennifer White is the director and an associate professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, Canada. She co-edited (with Alan Pence) the book Child and Youth Care: Critical Perspectives on Pedagogy, Practice, and Policy. She has written numerous articles, reports, and practice guidelines for practitioners on the topic of youth suicide prevention. In 2004, she received the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention Service Award in recognition for her leadership and contributions to the practice of youth suicide prevention.

Ian Marsh is a senior lecturer and researcher at Canterbury Christ Church University in England, the academic lead for the Kent and Medway Suicide Prevention Group, and a volunteer for the Samaritans. He is also the author of Suicide: Foucault, History and Truth. For many years, Marsh has facilitated suicide awareness and prevention training in a number of settings, including prisons, schools, and mental health units.

Michael J. Kral is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Wayne State University, Detroit, a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and a fellow of the American Psychological Association. Kral has co-edited three books. He researches in the area of Indigenous suicide and suicide prevention, youth resilience, culture change, and kinship, and theory and method in psychology and allied disciplines.

Jonathan Morris is a sessional instructor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, Canada. Morris’s research has focused on using poststructural and narrative ideas in an up-close analysis of youth suicide-prevention practice. More recently, in his work focused on social policy and mental health, he has infused narrative practices into policy making spaces in an effort to call attention to the dominant discursive frames that underpin current policy directions.

Contributors: Yvonne Bergmans, Rob Cover, Michael Dineen, Simone Fullagar, Joseph P. Gone, Heidi Hjelmeland, Lori Idlout, Katrina Jaworski, Denise Johnson, David Newman, Wendy O’Brien, Vikki Reynolds, Andrea Rowe, Marnie Sather, Daniel Scott, and Lisa M. Wexler

Introduction: Rethinking Suicide / Jennifer White, Ian Marsh, Michael J. Kral, and Jonathan Morris

Part 1: Critiquing Suicidology: Constructions of Suicide and Practices of Prevention

1 Critiquing Contemporary Suicidology / Ian Marsh

2 A Critical Look at the Current Suicide Research / Heidi Hjelmeland

3 Exploring Possibilities for Indigenous Suicide Prevention: Responding to Cultural Understandings and Practices / Lisa M. Wexler and Joseph P. Gone

4 Risky Bodies: Making Suicide Knowable among Youth / Jonathan Morris

5 Speaking of Suicide as a Gendered Problematic: Suicide Attempts and Recovery within Women’s Narratives of Depression / Simone Fullagar and Wendy O’Brien

Part 2: Insider Perspectives

6 “Being More Than Just Your Final Act”: Elevating the Multiple Storylines of Suicide with Narrative Practices / Marnie Sather and David Newman

7 When Despair and Hope Meet the Stigma of “Manipulation” and “Ambivalence” / Yvonne Bergmans, Andrea Rowe, Michael Dineen, and Denise Johnson

8 No Regrets / Andrea Rowe

Part 3: Creating Alternatives: Re-envisioning Suicide and Prevention

9 Hate Kills: A Social Justice Response to “Suicide” / Vikki Reynolds

10 Queer Youth Suicide: Discourses of Difference, Framing Suicidality, and the Regimentation of Identity / Rob Cover

11 Understanding the Unfathomable in Suicide: Poetry, Absence, and the Corporeal Body / Katrina Jaworski and Daniel Scott

12 Indigenous Best Practices: Community-Based Suicide Prevention in Nunavut, Canada / Michael J. Kral and Lori Idlout

13 Reimagining Youth Suicide Prevention / Jennifer White


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