Arts-based young women suicide prevention
Using innovative arts-based translational methods to understand and communicate the experience of young women’s suicidality.
- What is the impact of participating in arts-based research and translation on measures of suicide risk in young women?
- What are health care workers’ perspectives on caring for young women after a suicide attempt?
- How do consumer generated artworks stimulate community conversations about suicide risk in a vulnerable population?
While men die by suicide at greater rates than women, women are more likely than men to have made a suicide attempt in a given year. Research suggests that young women’s suicidality may be viewed by some as not serious, or driven by a desire for attention. Such attitudes may interfere with young women’s access to and experiences of care, yet little Australian research focuses specifically on stigmatising attitudes towards suicide attempts in young women.
This research will explore and communicate the experiences of young women who have made a suicide attempt and examine perspectives of health care workers and the public on suicide attempts in young women.
Novel arts-based research methods will be used, with a view to creating tangible artworks for use in knowledge translation. Young women will create life-size body-maps and testimonials conveying what they wish other people understood about their experiences.
The body maps will be used during community engagement events to stimulate discussions about youth suicide and to assess audience responses to the art. The project will also assess whether participation in research using these novel arts-based methods has an impact on symptoms or suicide risk in young women.Back to top
History of the project
This arts-based project was selected to allow for different ways of knowing, creating and disseminating empirical research. The team ha previously conducted body mapping research reviews and research projects that have have demonstrated the enhanced capacity, self-esteem, reflectiveness and empowerment on knowledge creators as well as enhanced mental health literacy and decreased stigma.
Qualitative research interviews will be conducted with young women (n=15), health care workers (n=10) who have provided care after a suicide attempt, and members of the general public (n=10). Body-mapping, a visual arts-based research method, will be employed to explore young women’s embodied experiences of making a suicide attempt and subsequent recovery.
At two events (general public and care professional), body maps will be exhibited and the researchers and young women participants will lead the audience through a discussion of the creation process and guided questions seeking the audiences’ response to the artworks.Back to top
Black Dog Institute Kick Start Awarded to Chief Investigator Dr Andrea Fogarty.Back to top