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.
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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’.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“What do you think would reduce LGBT+ youth suicide in the future?”

Photo by Chris Johnson on Unsplash

Yasmin: For LGBT+ young people specifically, just societally, if you have a feeling, especially when you’re young that you’re not going to be accepted and it’s going to be harder for you to sort of move through the world because of your identity, that brings a real feeling of hopelessness.

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International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). IDAHOBIT happens every year on the 17th of May and provides an opportunity for people (LGBTI people and our allies) who feel able, to stand visibly against discrimination and harassment faced by LGBTI people.

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