A place to die. The importance of place analysis in youth suicide preventive work
Conference contribution, 2018
In Sweden approximately 40 adolescents under the age of 20, commit suicide every year. In contrast to the older age groups, where suicide decrease, adolescents’ suicide shows a tendency to increase. This circumstance indicates that adolescents don’t respond on the implementation of preventive measurements in the same way as young adults and adults. This paper is based on a study conducted as part of my PhD-project and aims at investigating the choice of suicidal places. In the paper I will not only present the study, but also highlight methodological and ethical challenges in relation to these types of studies. Earlier studies on suicide have shown that changes in the physical environment or product design is an effective prevention strategy against suicide (for example: Mayhew et. al, 1976; Clarke & Mayhew, 1988; Clarke & Lester, 2013). This strategy is also applied in praxis, such as fencing bridges, product modifications or changing the concentration of lethal ingredient in products. In the paper I will describe the importance of the place for suicidal acts and categorize them as: known places, accessible places, symbolic places, strategic places and effective places. I argue that by analyzing the place elements, a more effective preventive strategy can be developed targeting “youths in suicidal crises.” Even though suicidality is triggered by internal psychosocial factors, the action is dependent on external factors, such as place and/or accessibility to lethal products.