Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Why Empathetic Responses are So Important

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Phew! The last 2 months finishing up my Emerging Scholars Fellowship project was a whirlwind, but I’m extremely excited by the findings.  When analyzing the interviews for my project, it was a big challenge to make sense of all the different factors related to disclosure: how many people were told, how much information was disclosed, and how disclosure changed when multiple attempts had occurred. To better understand the sequence of events, I started drawing timelines of the events.

The example below highlights one individual who experienced negative reactions from family members following an attempt; yet, her sister responded in a helpful manner. From that point forward, she felt comfortable talking about current suicidal thoughts with her sister. In other words, her sister became a confidant, and her sister helped navigate treatment when needed.

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How I Coordinated a Suicide Awareness Event in 3 Easy Steps

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imagesOver the past several months, I have been immersed in transcripts of interviews that I conducted with suicide attempt survivors. I’ve been reading, and coding, and re-reading the transcripts endlessly. And you know what I’ve decided? We need to talk about suicide more.

I’ve noticed two main reasons why people don’t tell others about their suicidal behavior: (1) they are afraid people will criticize (blame, judge, ridicule); and (2) they do not want to worry or upset others. Both reasons point to a belief that people don’t understand suicidal thoughts or behavior.

To increase awareness at my own university, I coordinated an event on campus that featured Dese’Rae Stage from the project, Live Through This. It was free and open to the public, and we had a great turn out. Here are 3 easy steps that could help you coordinate a similar event on your campus: Continue Reading

5 Reasons You Should Know DeQuincy Lezine

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downloadDeQuincy Lezine, or “Quix” as he is often called, is one awesome human being.

There’s no other way to say it. When conducting research on suicide, his name pops up quite often, but it wasn’t until the past couple months that I’ve really learned about the great work he’s doing. Lucky for me, he agreed to be the mentor for my Emerging Scholars Fellowship project. Overall, I could list several reasons why you should know who he is, but I’ll be brief and stick with only 50. . . I’m kidding, I’ll only cover five.

(1) His book is the perfect mix of credible and personal.

DeQuincy’s book, Eight Stories Up, tells his personal story with suicide and also reviews the risk factors and treatment options for suicidal behavior. He has a talent for writing about research findings while simultaneously throwing in personal anecdotes. The result is that you feel as though you’re chatting with an old friend who cares deeply about your own experiences and well-being.

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Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Meet Laura Frey

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jude_sigilHi everyone! I’m Laura Frey, one of the 2015 Emerging Scholars Fellowship class. I’m currently a Ph.D. candidate in Family Sciences at the University of Kentucky, and I am also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

I’m on track to defend my dissertation this spring, which means I will be graduating in May 2015. The rest of my time is usually spent reading, attempting to learn Spanish, travelling, and relaxing with my cat (Jude) and dog (Sigil).

Over the course of this fellowship, I will be analyzing qualitative interviews with suicide attempt survivors about their experience with suicide disclosure. The idea for this project came while I was working as an assessment counselor at a psychiatric hospital.

Over time, I realized that the information I received from patients looked very different based on who was in the room during the assessment. Suddenly, a research idea popped into my head!

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