Research into Personal Suicide Stigma

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


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 or by telephone on 04686662552.

Research team

Supervisor: Jacinta Hawgood, Senior Lecturer/Program Director Suicidology, Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP). Email

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


This project was approved by Griffith University Ethics, GU Ref No: 2020/386 Contact Research Ethics, Griffith University on (07) 3735 4375 or