Teen Suicide: Experiences in the Emergency Department Following a Suicide Attempt
Holliday, Carrie E.
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The phenomenon of adolescent suicide warrants further investigation and research. Teen suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15-24 year olds. Shockingly, teen suicide has increased in recent years. Current treatment and prevention efforts have not been effective at decreasing suicide rates for the adolescent age group. Extensively studied in the adolescent suicide literature are the risk factors and prevalence related to the phenomenon but gaps in the literature remain. Research suggests that health care professionals do a poor job of treating, intervening and/or preventing adolescent suicide. It is well known that suicide attempters are at higher risk of completing suicide. Further, adolescents who visit the emergency department (ED) following a suicide attempt are a vulnerable group and report their experience as negative. The ED presents an opportunity for health care providers to intervene. A clear understanding of what the experience of being suicidal means to adolescents living the phenomenon has not been addressed in the research. The aim of this research project was to generate a comprehensive interpretation of the experiences of adolescents who visit the ED following a suicide attempt, using hermeneutic phenomenological methodology. Six adolescent suicide attempters were recruited from two northwest hospital EDs. They were each interviewed one time. Transcribed interview texts were analyzed using Heideggerian hermeneutic methods. Two patterns emerged: