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Words of wisdom from those who lived to tell the tale: A descriptive phenomenological study of re-engaging with life after attempted suicide

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Version 2 2021-04-16, 01:50
Version 1 2017-12-18, 00:00
posted on 2021-04-16, 01:50 authored by Kerri JacksonKerri Jackson
The aims of the study are to explore the “lived experience” of re-engaging with life after attempted suicide, and provide deeper insight into this important phenomenon in order to help others in similar circumstances. The research question that informed the study was “What is the lived experience of re-engaging with life after attempted suicide?” The past focus on understanding the rates, causes, and risks of suicide has not been effective in reducing suicide rates. There is an identified need for more research into the “lived experience” of people who have attempted suicide. The methodology underpinning this thesis is descriptive phenomenology in the tradition of Edmond Husserl. Information came from taped, face-to-face, semi-structured interviews of one to two hours with eight participants: adult volunteers who shared their experience of the phenomenon. Analysis of participants’ transcripts of interview utilised Colaizzi’s (1978) analytic process. Eight central themes emerged in relation to how people re-engage with life after attempted suicide. These are: “The immediate aftermath”; “Doing the work”; “Life reshaping into something new”; “Finding a place to be”; “New ways of seeing”; “New ways of being”; “Making a difference”; and “In the long run.” The findings in the current study have the potential to make a substantive contribution to existing knowledge about the phenomenon of re-engaging with life after attempted suicide.



Central Queensland University

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Author retains copyright: I acknowledge that Central Queensland University will make this work available at the Central Queensland University library and that it will be freely available to library users and to other libraries approved by Central Queensland University. This thesis should not be copied in whole or part, or be closely paraphrased without my written consent, and any use of this work must be duly acknowledged. I place no other restrictions on access by others to this thesis.

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Associate Professor Anthony Welch ; Dr Shane Hopkinson

Thesis Type

  • Master's by Research Thesis

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