Exploring the role of religion in the recovery experiences of suicide attempt survivors in Ghana
Osafo, J., Asare-Doku, W., & Akotia, C.S.
Background Religion performs a doubled edged role in a suicide crisis. On the one hand, it elicits empathic responses towards suicidal persons. On the other, it condemns and shames them. Although there is evidence that religion promotes better health and general wellbeing, little attention has been given to its role in recovery, especially after a suicide attempt. The current study explored how religion facilitated recovery among suicide attempt survivors. Methods Using a semi-structured interview guide, we interviewed suicide attempt survivors who had attended a psychiatric unit. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. Results Ten suicide attempters were interviewed, six females and four males. Three major themes were identified: Reasons in context, Religion in the recovery process and Renewed commitment to religious rituals/practices. Conclusions The role of religion in suicide prevention as a resource, is a complex one. Suicide preventionists need to carefully guide and gauge their prevention efforts in context where religion is rife to provide suicide attempt survivors the most effective religious resource in their recovery trajectory.