Providing Meaningful Care: Learning From the Experiences of Suicidal Young Men

Jordan, Joanne; McKenna, Hugh; Keeney, Sinead; Cutcliffe, John; Stevenson, Chris; Slater, Paul and McGowan, Iain (2012). Providing Meaningful Care: Learning From the Experiences of Suicidal Young Men. Qualitative Health Research, 22(9) pp. 1207–1219.



Little is known about young suicidal men’s preferences for care. Using a broad interpretive approach, we interviewed 36 formerly suicidal young men in a study addressing the development and provision of mental health services. Our analysis yielded three core categories: widening access and bolstering proactive outreach, on becoming a man, and equipping young men for future challenges. Collectively, these categories suggest key features and processes of appropriate service configuration and clinical care: (a) services that reach out proactively serve to encourage young men’s initial and ongoing engagement; (b) care delivered over the long term ensures a necessary focus on a meaningful future life; (c) mental health professionals (MHPs) are centrally involved alongside significant others, including those with personal experience of suicide; and (d) the development of a vital interpersonal connection is based on MHPs actively communicating their empathy, open-mindedness, and interest in a young man’s unique biography.

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