Musing

Silence and awkwardness
Fear and despair
Why does stigma sting the air?
Wishing that kindness and empathy could raise the bar
Uplifting those suffering and who they are
not labelled by their fight but remembered for who they be
They’re a person behind the label
Overlooked and you don’t see
 by Di White

Personal Suicide Stigma Questionnaire

Invitation -Participants Needed

Have you experienced suicidal thought and suicide stigma?

Would you like to share your experience anonymously?

Stability of Personal Suicide Stigma and Relationship with Self-esteem, Well-being and Suicidality

Stigmatisation is an unfortunate reality for many of those who suffer from suicidal thoughts and behaviours; it entails many harmful aspects including negative labelling, stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and more.

Stigma also results in poor outcomes for suicidal individuals, such as reduced or no help-seeking behaviour, low levels of self-efficacy, lowered self-esteem and well-being, and sometimes negative treatment.

Perhaps one of the most damaging and pervasive forms of stigma is personal suicide stigma. Personal suicide stigma refers to suicide stigma experienced from the perspective of the suicidal individual. Research assessing personal suicide stigma has only recently emerged, with the development of a 16-item self-report measure of personal suicide stigma called the Personal Suicide Stigma Questionnaire (PSSQ), designed to assess personal suicide stigma in a brief and accurate manner.

As this measure is very new and personal suicide stigma knowledge is only just beginning to emerge, there is still much unknown about personal suicide stigma and the PSSQ used to measure it.

We are interested in finding the answers to these questions

  1. Is personal suicide stigma a stable experience?
  2. Does the PSSQ measure personal suicide stigma or is it only measuring suicidality?
  3. How does self-esteem and well-being relate to an individual’s experience of personal suicide stigma?

Our research team is determined to answer these questions in order to increase our understanding of the PSSQ and personal suicide stigma as a construct to eventually be able to better respond to this experience in suicidal individuals.

Type of volunteers needed

Anyone over the age of 18 years and living in Australia who has experienced suicidality (suicidal thoughts, plans, and/or behaviour) can participate in the study. Please do not complete this survey if you currently feel distressed or vulnerable, or if you think that the nature of the survey and its questions may distress you.

(Please be aware that questions regarding suicide and stigma can be very difficult subjects to talk about for some people).

What would you be asked to do? How much time would it take?

If you consent to participate in the study, you will be required to complete an online survey on two different occasions (initial and 2 months). The online survey will ask you questions about suicidal thoughts and behaviour, as well as questions about your experiences with personal suicide stigma, self-esteem, and well-being. The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 20-25 minutes to complete.

It is important to reiterate that if you believe that the survey and its content may distress you, please do not complete the survey.

What’s in it for you?

Your participation will be invaluable in terms of contributing to further validation of the PSSQ measure (which is anticipated to eventually be used in service settings to aid support and intervention efforts). You will also be afforded the opportunity to anonymously and confidentially share your experiences of personal suicide stigma. You will be offered help and support services should you require these either during or post the survey.

In addition to these points, there is the option of taking part in a prize draw to win one of three $50 gift cards should you participate in the two online survey administrations. The collection of your personal details for the prize draw and for accessing referral services is completed separately from the survey.

How can you volunteer to participate in the survey or to find out more?

You can find more information on this research at the link below or to complete this survey, please click here

Privacy

Please note: regards to maintaining your own privacy and that of others, that if you choose to make comments on any postings or media adverts concerning this study, you should be aware of the potential dangers of accidental public exposure of your own personal details, identifiable information and that of others when you make such comments or ‘share’ the media post etc

Should you require support or help at this time?

When you have thoughts of suicide or self-harm, or need help and support because you are feeling distressed, there are a few sources you can seek help from now or any time in the future:

Helping professionals’ psychologists, counsellors, financial advisors, legal professionals, ministers, career advisors, teachers

For questions regarding the survey, please contact Brant Maclean at brant.maclean@griffithuni.edu.au or by telephone on 04686662552.

Research team

Supervisor: Jacinta Hawgood, Senior Lecturer/Program Director Suicidology, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP). Email jacinta.hawgood@griffith.edu.au.

Researcher: Mr Brant Maclean (Psychology Honours Student) Griffith University.

Email brant.maclean@griffithuni.edu.au.

This project was approved by Griffith University Ethics, GU Ref No: 2020/386 Contact Research Ethics, Griffith University on (07) 3735 4375 or research-ethics@griffith.edu.au

News from New South Wales

Roses in the Ocean’s NSW team is excited to announce that since our last update our team has doubled in size!

At the end of June, Roses in the Ocean stalwart Sam Fewings took on the new role of NSW State Manager. Sam first came to Roses in the Ocean as a person with a lived experience of suicide keen to explore and understand his experience more and use it to help others. He was recruited to as a member of the NSW Ministry of Health LE Advisory Group and has actively participated in this role since its inception at the end of 2019.

On a professional front, Sam has spent the past 20 years working in human resources and insurance in the public and private sectors. He also has extensive experience in project and change management. Sam’s role is to oversee all the suicide prevention projects in NSW that Roses in the Ocean has been contracted to deliver under the Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention’s Towards Zero Suicide initiatives.

When Sam is not working, he is a committed tennis player whose lack of skill is made up for with enthusiasm. His second passion is bad dad jokes that he likes to share with his long suffering six-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter as well as his (age undisclosed) wife.

In July, we welcomed Evana Srinivasalu as the NSW Program Administrator – TouchPoints. Evana joins us with experience in administration, finance, and logistics. She is keen to work on the TouchPoints project, which will see Roses in the Ocean build the capacity of local community members with a lived experience of suicide to become TouchPoints trainers able to deliver the half-day, community-focussed gatekeeper workshops in their local areas. This is an exciting new project aimed at supporting sustainability in communities in the two pilot LHD regions of Hunter New England and Western NSW. TouchPoints aims to increase the capacity and confidence of community members to respond to and support each other at times of distress and when suicide impacts community. Another step towards making positive change to our community.

What have we been up to these past few months?

While our facilitators worked hard to design a meaningful, supportive way to deliver the  ‘Our Voice in Action’ workshop in an online environment, we were fortunate enough to design and deliver the co-design of the Alternatives to Emergency Departments initiative in the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD. We undertook this project 100% virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions and send a huge shout-out to everyone in the region who was involved in this process. Once again, a first for online delivery! It was a privilege to be a part of creating a service model for a non-clinical safe space that offers a genuine alternative to ED when they are in need of support in a safe environment.

We delivered the Our Voice in Action workshop online for the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD. This is the first ever online lived experience workshop that Roses in the Ocean has delivered, and it would not have been possible without the tireless enthusiasm of Bec and our facilitators. Because of this, the Nepean Blue Mountains district now has the first local lived experience advisory group (LEAG). The team is working hard to bring this opportunity to LHDs across the state and you can keep up to date on this opportunity by checking out the Roses in the Ocean website. Bec’s role has expanded beyond providing administrative support for the LEAGs project, to also provide ongoing LE Coordinator support to each LEAG as they form.

What’s to come?

Next, we are in the planning stages of rolling out the co-design of Alternatives to ED across each Local Health District in NSW, with Bridget now sitting at the helm of coordinating this project. Again, to find out when the co-design of these important initiatives will come to your area in NSW, keep an eye out on our website and social media.

The TouchPoints project will be trialled in two locations in NSW and will see Roses in the Ocean deliver this training to community members in the area to bolster the capacity of the community to support people experiencing suicidal distress. Three local TouchPoints trainers will be recruited in each of the pilot LHDs and will work with Roses in the Ocean to deliver three workshops in community. They will then venture into community to deliver independently a further three workshops each over the next 12 months.

Also in the works is the development and delivery of the new Suicide Prevention (SP) Peer Worker course in NSW. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting project!

All in all – we’ve been very busy down here in NSW and are keen to keep bringing lived experience of suicide to the forefront of suicide prevention activities in the state.