Boundaries, thresholds, and the liminal in youth suicide prevention practice

Marsh, I. and White, J. (2015) Boundaries, thresholds, and the liminal in youth suicide prevention practice. In: Scott-Mhyre, H., Pacini-Ketchabaw, V. and Scott-Mhyre, K.S. G., eds. Youth Work, Early Education, and Psychology. New York: Palgrave. ISBN 9781137480033

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This chapter explores some of the ways youth suicide and suicidality are discursively constructed by young people, academics, and professionals working in the field of youth suicide prevention. It looks to problematize some of the assumptions which underpin current main- stream suicide prevention practices in relation to young people, and to draw attention to the restrictions placed on our understanding of, and responses to, youth suicide through the rather limited (and limiting) discursive resources at our disposal when we try to “speak the truth of youth suicide” using knowledge produced by means of positivist research methods. What we are trying to do is understand how youth suicide is talked about, and what is done in relation to the issue, through a focus on language use and by critically examining the assumptions commonly made about what it is like to be suicidal, what causes suicide, and what are deemed appropriate practices of prevention. In other words, we are interested in the question, what does youth suicide prevention do?1 We also take up a few ideas, mostly around boundaries, thresholds, transitions, liminal experiences and spaces, drawn from anthropology, literature, education, feminist scholarship, performance studies and related fields. We aim to illuminate aspects of academic constructions of youth suicide, the expressions of first-person experiences of suicidality, and therapeutic practices with young suicidal people, not usually visible in traditional, mainstream, modernist, suicide prevention literature. In so doing we are not endeavoring to set out a competing theory of suicide (what it truly is, its real causes, and so on), but, instead, we are attempting to speak in another way about suicide, to articulate ideas based on a different set of assumptions, in the hope of instigating new conversations around the subject. We set the stage for our work by beginning with the concept of liminality.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0435 Psychiatry > RC0569 Suicide
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Allied Health Professions
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Ian Marsh
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2015 14:48
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2015 14:48

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00