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Book part
Publication date: 15 January 2021

Justin T. Denney, Zhe Zhang, Bridget K. Gorman and Caleb Cooley

Purpose: In the current work, we provide a portrait of heavy alcohol use, cigarette smoking, mental health, and suicide ideation by sexual orientation among a large sample…

Abstract

Purpose: In the current work, we provide a portrait of heavy alcohol use, cigarette smoking, mental health, and suicide ideation by sexual orientation among a large sample of US adults aged 25 years and older.

Design/methodology/approach: We produce a repository of information on sexual orientation, substance use, mental well-being, and suicide ideation for adults aged 25 years and older using Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys for nine US states from 2011 to 2018. We establish baseline differences on these outcomes for gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB), relative to heterosexual, adults and then use regression techniques to adjust the estimates for important sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and relationship status variables.

Findings: Disparities by sexual orientation across substance use, mental health, and suicide ideation are concerning, some alarmingly so. Bisexuals, particularly women, face pronounced challenges across outcomes. Sexual minority men and women report significantly more poor mental health days and much higher odds of suicide ideation. To illustrate, gay men, lesbians, and bisexual men and women, relative to their heterosexual counterparts, have odds of seriously contemplating taking their own lives that are two to four times higher even after adjusting for relevant controls.

Originality/value: Existing knowledge connecting GLB identity and mental well-being has focused largely on adolescent and young adults. We provide a representative study on older adult differences across four different behavioral health outcomes by sexual orientation. The scale of the disparities we report here, and their implications for overall well-being across groups, deserves national attention and action.

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Sexual and Gender Minority Health
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-147-1

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Andrew Forrester, Chiara Samele, Karen Slade, Tom Craig and Lucia Valmaggia

The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence of suicide ideation amongst a group of people who had been arrested and taken into police custody, and were then…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the prevalence of suicide ideation amongst a group of people who had been arrested and taken into police custody, and were then referred to a mental health service operating in the police stations.

Design/methodology/approach

A referred sample of 888 cases were collected over an 18-month period during 2012/2013. Clinical assessments were conducted using a template in which background information was collected (including information about their previous clinical history, substance misuse, alleged offence, any pre-identified diagnoses, and the response of the service) as part of the standard operating procedure of the service. Data were analysed using a statistical software package.

Findings

In total, 16.2 per cent (n=144) reported suicide ideation, with women being more likely to report than men. In total, 82.6 per cent of the suicide ideation sample reported a history of self-harm or a suicide attempt. Suicide ideation was also associated with certain diagnostic categories (depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and personality disorder), a history of contact with mental health services, and recent (within 24 hours) consumption of alcohol or drugs.

Originality/value

This evaluation adds to the limited literature in this area by describing a large sample from a real clinical service. It provides information that can assist with future service designs and it offers support for calls for a standardised health screening process, better safety arrangements for those who have recently used alcohol or drugs (within 24 hours) and integrated service delivery across healthcare domains (i.e. physical healthcare, substance use, and mental health).

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Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Mark H. Chae and Douglas J. Boyle

The purpose of this paper is to explore risk and protective factors associated with suicidal ideation among law enforcement personnel.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore risk and protective factors associated with suicidal ideation among law enforcement personnel.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology employed is based on the “Best Evidence Synthesis” approach, whereby researchers systematically examine and integrate the most empirically sound available research on the topic under investigation.

Findings

Results of studies showed that the interaction of multiple risk factors had a cumulative effect in increasing the risk for suicidal ideation. In total, five prominent aspects of policing were associated with risk for suicidal ideation: organizational stress; critical incident trauma; shift work; relationship problems; and alcohol use and abuse. Studies also indicated that protective factors and preventative measures had stress‐buffering effects which decreased the impact of police stressors.

Research limitations/implications

The model is limited because few studies have employed methodologically‐sound research designs to test risk and protective factors related to police suicide. This conceptual overview may facilitate theory development and provide directions for future research.

Practical implications

Law enforcement agencies which implement programs that assist police personnel in developing active coping styles, identify and access available social support systems, as well as utilize community‐based services may decrease risk for suicidal ideation. This review provides practical applications for law enforcement training, education, and program development.

Originality/value

The paper represents the most recent review of risk and protective factors related to suicidal ideation among police personnel. This integration of research provides police practitioners with an evidence‐based ecological framework that can be applied universally in police management settings.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2012

Jerneja Sveticic and Diego De Leo

The idea of a progression in suicide phenomena, from death wishes to suicide attempts and completed suicides, is quite old and widely present in literature. This model of…

Abstract

The idea of a progression in suicide phenomena, from death wishes to suicide attempts and completed suicides, is quite old and widely present in literature. This model of interpreting suicidality has great relevance in preventative approaches, since it gives the opportunity of intercepting suicidal trajectories at several different stages. However, this may not be the case for many situations, and the hypothesis of a continuum can be true only in a limited number of cases, probably embedded with a specific psychopathological scenario (e.g. depression) and with a frequency that should not permit generalisations. This paper reviews the available evidence about the existence and validity of this construct, and discusses its practical implications.

Details

Mental Illness, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2036-7465

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Ciska Wittouck, Louis Favril, Gwendolyn Portzky, Freya Vander Laenen, Frédéric Declercq and Kurt Audenaert

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the correlates of suicidal ideation in offenders incarcerated in three Belgian prisons.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the correlates of suicidal ideation in offenders incarcerated in three Belgian prisons.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional questionnaire design was used. In total, 60 participants were recruited from three Belgian prisons. In addition to a questionnaire regarding demographic, social, institutional, and criminological factors, validated self-report instruments of psychological and psychiatric variables (coping, hopelessness, and depressive symptomatology) were administered. Associations with suicidal ideation were tested using regression analysis.

Findings

Coping style, life events, and social support were most strongly associated with suicidal ideation in prisoners. In particular, a passive coping style, feelings of loneliness, and the loss of a significant other contributed most to the presence of suicidal ideation, whereas a close partner relationship constituted a protective factor of suicidal thoughts.

Research limitations/implications

This pilot study used a convenience sampling strategy, prone to sampling bias. Additionally, given the small sample size, results must be interpreted with caution, as they might not be representative of the general population of prisoners in Belgium.

Practical implications

Interventions focussing on improving coping skills and social support and on impeding the availability and accessibility of suicide methods are promising suicide prevention strategies in custodial settings.

Originality/value

To date, no studies have been conducted in Belgium focussing on suicidality in prisoners. Furthermore, the examination of suicidal ideation in prison settings has received relatively scant attention in international research.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2013

Ashley B. Cole, LaRicka R. Wingate, Meredith L. Slish, Raymond P. Tucker, David W. Hollingsworth and Victoria M. O’Keefe

The interpersonal theory of suicide (ITS; Joiner, 2005) has gained empirical support as a framework for understanding why people die by suicide in the general population…

Abstract

Purpose

The interpersonal theory of suicide (ITS; Joiner, 2005) has gained empirical support as a framework for understanding why people die by suicide in the general population, and more recently, among American Indians (AIs). The purpose of this paper is to examine two key constructs of the theory, perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness as mediators of depression and suicidal ideation within an AI sample.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 156 self-identified AI students completed measures of depression symptoms, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and suicidal ideation online. Non-parametric bootstrapping procedures were conducted.

Findings

Results of bootstrapping analyses indicated that perceived burdensomeness had an indirect effect on the relationship between symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation; however, thwarted belongingness did not demonstrate an indirect effect between symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation. Findings suggest that the ITS construct of perceived burdensomeness may be relevant for the study of AI suicide. Implications for targeting perceptions of burdensomeness in preventative efforts against suicide among AIs are discussed.

Originality/value

This is the first study to examine perceived burdensomeness and thwarted belongingness as mediators of symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation in a sample of AI participants.

Details

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, vol. 6 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-0980

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Book part
Publication date: 15 January 2021

Jennifer Pearson, Lindsey Wilkinson and Jamie Lyn Wooley-Snider

Purpose: Sexual minority youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to consider and attempt suicide, in part due to victimization experienced within schools…

Abstract

Purpose: Sexual minority youth are more likely than their heterosexual peers to consider and attempt suicide, in part due to victimization experienced within schools. While existing research suggests that rates of school victimization and suicidality among sexual minority students vary by school and community context, less is known about variation in these experiences at the state level.

Methodology: Using data from a large, representative sample of sexual minority and heterosexual youth (2017 Youth Risk Behavior States Data, n = 64,746 high school students in 22 states), multilevel models examine whether differences between sexual minority and heterosexual students in victimization and suicide risk vary by state-level policies.

Findings: Results suggest that disparities between sexual minority and heterosexual boys in bullying, suicide ideation, and suicide attempt are consistently smaller in states with high levels of overall policy support for LGBTQ equality and nondiscrimination in education laws. Sexual minority girls are more likely than heterosexual girls to be electronically bullied, particularly in states with lower levels of LGBTQ equality. Disparities between sexual minority and heterosexual girls in suicide ideation are lowest in high equality states, but state policies are not significantly associated with disparities in suicide attempt among girls.

Value: Overall, findings suggest that state-level policies supporting LGBTQ equality are associated with a reduced risk of suicide among sexual minority youth. This study speaks to the role of structural stigma in shaping exposure to minority stress and its consequences for sexual minority youth's well-being.

Details

Sexual and Gender Minority Health
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-147-1

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2014

Louis Bailey, Sonja J. Ellis and Jay McNeil

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from the Trans Mental Health Study (McNeil et al., 2012) – the largest survey of the UK trans population to date and the…

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1105

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present findings from the Trans Mental Health Study (McNeil et al., 2012) – the largest survey of the UK trans population to date and the first to explore trans mental health and well-being within a UK context. Findings around suicidal ideation and suicide attempt are presented and the impact of gender dysphoria, minority stress and medical delay, in particular, are highlighted.

Design/methodology/approach

This represents a narrative analysis of qualitative sections of a survey that utilised both open and closed questions. The study drew on a non-random sample (n=889), obtained via a range of UK-based support organisations and services.

Findings

The study revealed high rates of suicidal ideation (84 per cent lifetime prevalence) and attempted suicide (48 per cent lifetime prevalence) within this sample. A supportive environment for social transition and timely access to gender reassignment, for those who required it, emerged as key protective factors. Subsequently, gender dysphoria, confusion/denial about gender, fears around transitioning, gender reassignment treatment delays and refusals, and social stigma increased suicide risk within this sample.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the limitations of undertaking research with this population, the research is not demographically representative.

Practical implications

The study found that trans people are most at risk prior to social and/or medical transition and that, in many cases, trans people who require access to hormones and surgery can be left unsupported for dangerously long periods of time. The paper highlights the devastating impact that delaying or denying gender reassignment treatment can have and urges commissioners and practitioners to prioritise timely intervention and support.

Originality/value

The first exploration of suicidal ideation and suicide attempt within the UK trans population revealing key findings pertaining to social and medical transition, crucial for policy makers, commissioners and practitioners working across gender identity services, mental health services and suicide prevention.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2007

Ronald J. Burke and Aslaug Mikkelsen

The purpose of this study is to examine potential predictors of suicidal ideation among a large sample of Norwegian police officers. Some have suggested that suicide is a…

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1155

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine potential predictors of suicidal ideation among a large sample of Norwegian police officers. Some have suggested that suicide is a leading cause of death among police officers.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using anonymously completed questionnaires from 766 officers, a 60 percent response rate most measures included were commonly used by other researchers. Predictors included personal demographics, work situation characteristics, job demands, burnout components, work outcomes and coping responses. Logistic regression analysis was used as the prevalence of suicidal ideation was strongly skewed; most police officers indicated no suicidal ideation. Two criterion groups were created; police officers indicating no suicidal ideation (n=495) and police officers indicating some suicidal ideation (n=124).

Findings

Single police officers, officers reporting higher levels of both exhaustion and cynicism (burnout components), and officers engaging in less active coping and reporting lower levels of social support indicated more suicidal ideation.

Research limitations/implications

Use of self‐report data raises the possibility of response set tendencies.

Practical implications

Organizations can undertake efforts to prevent potential suicide of their members. It appears that reducing levels of burnout, increasing social support, and highlighting the benefits of active coping represent useful starting points.

Originality/value

This study contributes to our understanding of suicidal ideation among police officers.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2018

John M. Violanti, Sherry L. Owens, Erin McCanlies, Desta Fekedulegn and Michael E. Andrew

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of law enforcement suicide research from 1997 to 2016.

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1878

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of law enforcement suicide research from 1997 to 2016.

Design/methodology/approach

The PRISMA systematic review methodology was implemented. A SCOPUS search identified a total of 97 documents. After applying all exclusion criteria, the results included a list of 44 articles in the review.

Findings

Overall, studies investigating law enforcement suicide rates show conflicting results, with some studies showing lower suicide rates among law enforcement, some showing higher rates, and some showing no difference to comparison populations. Recurring research themes were lack of an appropriate comparison group, and small statistical power, particularly for minority and female officers. Stressors related to suicide among police included lack of organizational support, traumatic events, shift work, stigma associated with asking for help, or problems associated with fitting in with the police culture. Problems associated with domestic relationships and alcohol use were commonly mentioned as precursors to suicide or as correlates of suicidal ideation and were hypothesized to arise from stressful working conditions.

Research limitations/implications

Some limitations in law enforcement suicide research include the lack of theory, under-reporting of suicides, and guarded survey responses from police officers. Future directions in police suicide research include investigating etiological factors such as past adverse life and family experiences, social-ecological variation in suicide, or differences in suicide rates within the law enforcement occupation.

Practical implications

Police work, given chronic and traumatic stress, lack of support, danger, and close public scrutiny is a fertile occupation for increased suicide risk. Awareness of the scope of the problem and associated risk factors can help to initiate prevention programs.

Originality/value

This paper provides a long-term review of literature regarding police suicidality, with suggestions for research and prevention.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

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