Dr Sharon Mallon (OU)
There has been a great deal of concern about the rising rates of suicide in Northern Ireland. To date, the discussion has tended to focus on suicide among men, with little consideration given to suicide among women. This lack of attention is concerning as studies suggest there are important gender differences in suicidal behaviour. The aim of this presentation is to address this gap in our understanding by placing the female gender as a central factor in our analysis.
The presentation delivers findings in three parts: (i) those from a literature review to provide a broad overview of what is currently known about the issue of women and suicide; (ii) those from an analysis of data relating to a cohort of 78 female suicides that took place in Northern Ireland over a two year period, to provide an overview of the help seeking undertaken by these women prior to their death and the type of issues implicated in their suicides. The data were drawn from GP and Coroner records; and, (iii) those from a qualitative analysis of 16 interviews with relatives of women who died, using their views to suggest how services might develop supportive interventions that are best suited to the local setting.