Viva Forever – the annual review!

It’s been a whole year since I passed my viva, which feels like a good amount of time to pause and take stock. Reflecting on the 365 days since that scary scary day, that simultaneously feels like it was forever ago and just yesterday, there feels like there’s been some real milestones, so I guess this post is kind of like my personal annual review.

Expertly made biscuits by my PhD pal Jessica Moran.
Continue reading “Viva Forever – the annual review!”

Creativity and Joy

Creativity is about to become a big part of my job. We’ve just been granted ethical approval for ‘Work Package 2’ of the Suicide in/as Politics projects, which is a slightly boring title for a very exciting part of the research where one of my colleagues and I get to run creative workshops inspired by the findings of ‘Work Package 1’.

Continue reading “Creativity and Joy”
Research Outputs

Staying Alive: Risk, Resistance and Responses to LGBT+ Youth Suicide in Scotland

My doctoral research, looking at LGBT+ youth suicide in Scotland, was hugely important to me both personally and professionally. So when I completed the research last year I was commited to finding ways to communicate it to different audiences, and I was delighted when I was successfully awarded a small pot of funding to organise an event as part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Sciences. During the event I was able to share the research findings with service providers, practitioners and members of the community, and get their takes on the practicalities of implementing the suggestions made by participants.

Continue reading “Staying Alive: Risk, Resistance and Responses to LGBT+ Youth Suicide in Scotland”

Are you writing in your ‘phone voice’?

Writing can be so hard! Sometimes, because you’re not sure what you want to say; sometimes because you know what you want to say, but getting it out there in the world feels too scary; sometimes because you’ve been looking at what you’re trying to write for too long and none of the words make sense anymore. I think for me, a lot of the writing difficulties I have are rooted in how unhomely the university can feel for me, and all the many and varied ways that I can feel that I don’t belong in it.

Continue reading “Are you writing in your ‘phone voice’?”

Please put your own mask on first, before helping others: taking care of suicide researcher’s mental health and wellbeing

Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels

As suicide researchers we inevitably think about suicide (virtually) every day. We spend our time reading, writing and thinking about the saddest and darkest times in other people’s, and sometimes our own, lives. We want to understand these experiences, we want to improve these difficult times, and we want to enhance the support available to mitigate these difficulties. We invest huge amounts of time and energy into considering the ethical complexities of designing and undertaking this research to safeguard the wellbeing of our participants and, when it’s done, we reflect on whether we have done enough and on what more we could do. It is fair to say that suicide research inevitably comes with a range of emotional demands.

Continue reading “Please put your own mask on first, before helping others: taking care of suicide researcher’s mental health and wellbeing”

It’s good to talk? The power of talking about suicidal distress as a tool for suicide prevention.

Ask twice? 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

“Ask twice” was the key take-away message from Roman Kemp’s documentary Our Silent Emergency aired on Tuesday night. The programme followed Kemp’s attempt to make sense of the suicide of his friend Joe, and later on in the programme his own mental health problems, by talking to others bereaved by suicide.

Continue reading “It’s good to talk? The power of talking about suicidal distress as a tool for suicide prevention.”

The Wilds of Representing LGBTQ+ youth suicide.

Now I’m guessing the pandemic brought all of us more TV watching than ever before, as we attempted to keep the boredom at bay during the various phases of lockdown. Now, I don’t want to ruin anyone else’s boxset binges, so I have to say that there will be SPOILERS, don’t read on if you don’t want to read them.

Continue reading “The Wilds of Representing LGBTQ+ youth suicide.”

The Qualities of Qualitative Suicide Research

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

As suicide research is dominated by quantitative studies [1] [2], whenever I come across a new qualitative paper in suicidology, it’s exciting! This is how I first felt when I came across What Can We Learn From First-Person Narratives?” The Case of Nonfatal Suicidal Behavior by Bantjes and Swartz [3]. Reading the paper, I went through a full range of emotions, which is why I recently recommended it for discussion in our research group’s critical suicide studies reading group back in February and why I wanted to write this blog.

Continue reading “The Qualities of Qualitative Suicide Research”

Talking about suicide in 2020

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels

The New Year is a time for reflection. As my work focuses on developing understandings of suicidal distress, in thinking back over 2020, I reflected on the increase in public conversations about mental health, and in particular on two specific conversations about suicide that I noticed during the past year.  

Continue reading “Talking about suicide in 2020”