Entry No 26 'The suicidal mind: a journey to recovery' - by Sophie Brown, PhD student in Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences.
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My aim with this image is to assign positive meaning to the bridge: a journey to hope and recovery. The green plant on the bench is a symbol of hope. With the right support, we can increase hope for people beyond a suicide attempt. This photo of the iconic Humber Bridge represents the key objective of my research: to support people who feel overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts. The bridge itself is a local suicide “hotspot” with police attending 380 incidents of people threatening to take their lives over the past 3 years. I have photographed a male in his mid-40s as this represents the highest risk category for suicide in England. He is going through a difficult time and his suicidal mind is overwhelming him. The black-and-white image mirrors his all-or-nothing thinking; life and death are the only options. The green plant on the bench is a symbol of hope. With the right support, we can increase hope for people beyond a suicide attempt. My aim with this image is to assign positive meaning to the bridge: a journey to hope and recovery.
Suicide is a global public health concern with someone losing their life to suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world (World Health Organisation, 2014). Many more people die by suicide each year than in road traffic accidents yet the funding for suicide prevention is extremely sparse compared to road accident prevention. Several researchers have highlighted the need for changes in patient care pathways across mental health services in order to improve patient safety and reduce suicide rates.
The aim of my research is to improve support for people engaging in suicidal behaviours. I am conducting the first UK-based evaluation of a therapeutic framework (Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality - CAMS) which has amassed a robust evidence-base from research conducted across the world. This study will determine the feasibility of this approach and ultimately provide key evidence to inform a future randomised controlled trial to establish the effectiveness of the CAMS approach across the NHS.