Center for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention

Sydney, Australia

Center for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention

Sydney, Australia

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Fogarty A.S.,Hospital Road | Proudfoot J.,Hospital Road | Proudfoot J.,Center for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention | Proudfoot J.,University of New South Wales | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Affective Disorders | Year: 2015

Background One in eight men experience depression and men account for 75% of suicides. Previous research has focused on men's reluctance to seek help and use of unhelpful coping strategies. Method Thematic analysis was used on transcripts from 21 focus groups and 24 in-depth interviews focused on positive strategies men use to prevent and manage depression. Results In total, 168 men were recruited and the majority (63%) reported no current depression. Four major themes were identified, where men: (1) used a broad variety of positive strategies and made clear distinctions between prevention and management, (2) used strategies that were "typically masculine", as well as challenged expectations of manliness, (3) felt powerless in the face of suicide, and (4) had accumulated wisdom they felt was beneficial for others. Men specifically advised others to talk about problems. Prevention relied upon regular routines for "balance", while management relied upon "having a plan". Limitations The majority of the men were aged over 55 years and highly educated. Younger men or those without tertiary education may favour different strategies. Conclusions In contrast to using only unhelpful strategies, the men used a broad range of positive strategies and adapted their use depending on mood, symptom or problem severity. Use of positive strategies was sophisticated, nuanced, and often underlined by a guiding philosophy. Rather than simply reacting to problems, men actively engaged in preventing the development of depressed moods, and made conscious choices about when or how to take action. Clinical and public health implications are discussed. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Shand F.L.,Black Dog Institute | Shand F.L.,Center for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention | Shand F.L.,University of New South Wales | Proudfoot J.,Black Dog Institute | And 20 more authors.
BMJ Open | Year: 2015

Objectives: Men are almost two times more likely to die by suicide than women, yet little research has focused on what is required to prevent suicide among men. This paper aims to investigate what factors interrupt suicidal behaviour in men, and to examine differences according to known suicide risk factors. Setting: Australia. Participants: 251 Australian men aged 18 years and over who had made a suicide attempt 6-18 months prior to completing the survey. Outcomes: The survey canvassed the language men use to describe their depression and suicidality, warning signs, barriers to accessing help and what is needed to interrupt a suicide attempt. ORs and ?2 were used to test for differences by age, geographic location and current depression severity. Results: Of 299 men screened and eligible to participate, 251 completed all or part of the survey. Participants identified different words and warning signs for depression compared with suicidality. The most commonly endorsed barriers to accessing help were not wanting to burden others (66%) and having isolated themselves (63%). Men overwhelmingly endorsed 'I thought about the consequences for my family' as the factor which stopped a suicide attempt (67%). 'I need support from someone I really trust and respect' was also strongly endorsed. There were few differences by age, region or depression severity. Conclusions: Participants were able to identify signs, albeit often subtle ones, that they were becoming depressed or suicidal. Similarly, most were able to identify active strategies to interrupt this downward spiral. Men wanted others to notice changes in their behaviour, and to approach them without judgement.


Player M.J.,Black Dog Institute | Player M.J.,Center for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention | Player M.J.,University of New South Wales | Proudfoot J.,Black Dog Institute | And 20 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Despite higher rates of suicide in men, there is a dearth of research examining the perspectives and experiences of males at risk of suicide, particularly in terms of understanding how interventions can be tailored to men's specific needs. The current study aimed to examine factors assisting, complicating or inhibiting interventions for men at risk, as well as outlining the roles of family, friends and others in male suicide prevention. Thirty-five male suicide survivors completed one-to-one interviews, and forty-seven family and friends of male suicide survivors participated in eight focus groups. Thematic analysis revealed five major themes: (1) development of suicidal behaviours tends to follow a common path associated with specific types of risk factors (disrupted mood, unhelpful stoic beliefs and values, avoidant coping strategies, stressors), (2) men at risk of suicide tend to systematically misinterpret changes in their behaviour and thinking, (3) understanding mood and behavioural changes in men enables identification of opportunities to interrupt suicide progression, (4) distraction, provision of practical and emotional supports, along with professional intervention may effectively interrupt acute risk of harm, and (5) suicidal ideation may be reduced through provision of practical help to manage crises, and helping men to focus on obligations and their role within families. Findings suggest that interventions for men at risk of suicidal behaviours need to be tailored to specific risk indicators, developmental factors, care needs and individuals' preferences. To our knowledge this is the first qualitative study to explore the experiences of both suicidal men and their family/friends after a suicide attempt, with the view to improve understanding of the processes which are effective in interrupting suicide and better inform interventions for men at risk. © 2015 Player et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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