Perceived stops to suicidal thoughts, plans, and actions in persons experiencing psychosis
Gooding, P.A., Sheehy, K., & Tarrier, N.
Background: Suicide has been conceived as involving a continuum, whereby suicidal plans and acts emerge from thoughts about suicide. Suicide prevention strategies need to determine whether different responses are needed at these points on the continuum. Aims: This study investigates factors that were perceived to counter suicidal ideation, plans, and acts. Method: The 36 participants, all of whom had had experiences of psychosis and some level of suicidality, were presented with a vignette describing a protagonist with psychotic symptoms. They were asked to indicate what would counter the suicidal thoughts, plans, and acts of the protagonist described in the vignette. Qualitative techniques were first used to code these free responses into themes/categories. Correspondence analysis was then applied to the frequency of responses in each of these categories. Results: Social support was identified as a strong counter to suicidal ideation but not as a counter to suicidal plans or acts. Help from health professionals was strongly related to the cessation of suicidal plans as were the opinions of the protagonist's children. Changing cognitions and strengthening psychological resources were more weakly associated with the cessation of suicidal ideation and plans. The protagonist's children were considered potentially helpful in addressing suicidal acts. Conclusion: These results suggest that both overlapping and nonoverlapping factors need to be considered in understanding suicide prevention, dependent on whether individuals are thinking about, planning, or attempting suicide.