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Self-inflicted. Deliberate. Death-intentioned. A critical policy analysis of UK suicide prevention policies 2009-2019

Self-inflicted. Deliberate. Death-intentioned. A critical policy analysis of UK suicide... With encouragement from the World Health Organisation, national suicide prevention policies have come to be regarded as an essential component of the global effort to reduce suicide. However, despite their global significance, the construction, conceptualisation and proposed provisions offered in suicide prevention policies have, to date, been under researched; this study aims to address this gap.Design/methodology/approachwe critically analysed eight contemporary UK suicide prevention policy documents in use in all four nations of the UK between 2009 and 2019, using Bacchi and Goodwin’s post-structural critical policy analysis.FindingsThe authors argue that across this sample of suicide prevention policies, suicide is constructed as self-inflicted, deliberate and death-intentioned. Consequently, these supposedly neutral definitions of suicide have some significant and problematic effects, often individualising, pathologising and depoliticising suicide in ways that dislocate suicides from the emotional worlds in which they occur. Accordingly, although suicide prevention policies have the potential to think beyond the boundaries of clinical practice, and consider suicide prevention more holistically, the policies in this sample take a relatively narrow focus, often reducing suicide to a single momentary act and centring death prevention at the expense of considering ways to make individual lives more liveable.Originality/valueUK suicide prevention policies have not been subject to critical analysis; to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study represents the first attempt to examine the way in which suicide is constructed in UK suicide prevention policy documents. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Mental Health Emerald Publishing

Self-inflicted. Deliberate. Death-intentioned. A critical policy analysis of UK suicide prevention policies 2009-2019

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References (35)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1746-5729
eISSN
1746-5729
DOI
10.1108/jpmh-09-2021-0113
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

With encouragement from the World Health Organisation, national suicide prevention policies have come to be regarded as an essential component of the global effort to reduce suicide. However, despite their global significance, the construction, conceptualisation and proposed provisions offered in suicide prevention policies have, to date, been under researched; this study aims to address this gap.Design/methodology/approachwe critically analysed eight contemporary UK suicide prevention policy documents in use in all four nations of the UK between 2009 and 2019, using Bacchi and Goodwin’s post-structural critical policy analysis.FindingsThe authors argue that across this sample of suicide prevention policies, suicide is constructed as self-inflicted, deliberate and death-intentioned. Consequently, these supposedly neutral definitions of suicide have some significant and problematic effects, often individualising, pathologising and depoliticising suicide in ways that dislocate suicides from the emotional worlds in which they occur. Accordingly, although suicide prevention policies have the potential to think beyond the boundaries of clinical practice, and consider suicide prevention more holistically, the policies in this sample take a relatively narrow focus, often reducing suicide to a single momentary act and centring death prevention at the expense of considering ways to make individual lives more liveable.Originality/valueUK suicide prevention policies have not been subject to critical analysis; to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study represents the first attempt to examine the way in which suicide is constructed in UK suicide prevention policy documents.

Journal

Journal of Public Mental HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 10, 2022

Keywords: Suicide prevention; Critical policy analysis; The UK

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