Lived Lives: A Pavee Perspective. An arts-science community intervention around suicide in an indigenous ethnic minority

Malone, Kevin M.; McGuinness, Seamus G.; Cleary, Eimear; Jefferies, Janis K.; Owens, Christabel and Kelleher, Cecily C.. 2017. 'Lived Lives: A Pavee Perspective. An arts-science community intervention around suicide in an indigenous ethnic minority'. In: Wellcome Open Research 2017. London, United Kingdom. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

Background: Suicide is a significant public health concern, which impacts on health outcomes. Few suicide research studies have been interdisciplinary. We combined a psychobiographical autopsy with a visual arts autopsy, in which families donated stories, images and objects associated with the lived life of a loved one lost to suicide. From this interdisciplinary research platform, a mediated exhibition was created (Lived Lives) with artist, scientist and families, co-curated by communities, facilitating dialogue, response and public action around suicide prevention.
Indigenous ethnic minorities (IEMs) bear a significant increased risk for suicide. Irish Travellers are an IEM with social and cultural parallels with IEMs internationally, experiencing racism, discrimination, and poor health outcomes including elevated suicide rates (SMR 6.6).
Methods: An adjusted Lived Lives exhibition, Lived Lives: A Pavee Perspective manifested in Pavee Point, the national Traveller and Roma Centre. The project was evaluated by the Travelling Community as to how it related to suicide in their community, how it has shaped their understanding of suicide and its impacts, and its relevance to other socio-cultural contexts, nationally and internationally. The project also obtained feedback from all relevant stakeholders. Evaluation was carried out by an international visual arts research advisor and an independent observer from the field of suicide research.
Results: Outputs included an arts-science mediated exhibition with reference to elevated Irish Traveller suicide rates. Digital online learning materials about suicide and its aftermath among Irish Travellers were also produced. The project reached its target audience, with a high level of engagement from members of the Travelling Community.
Discussion: The Lived Lives methodology navigated the societal barriers of stigma and silence to foster communication and engagement, working with cultural values, consistent with an adapted intervention. Feedback from this project can inform awareness, health promotion, education and interventions around suicide and its aftermath in IEMs.

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Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

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Additional Information:

This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [107070].
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis,
decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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13 April 2017Published Online

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London, United Kingdom

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Date Deposited:

28 Apr 2017 16:09

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:27


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