Bringing Lived Lives to Swift’s Asylum: a psychiatric hospital perspective

Malone, Kevin M.; Cleary, Eimear; Kelleher, Cecily C.; Lane, Abbie; Jefferies, Janis K.; Lucey, James V. and McGuinness, Seamus G.. 2022. Bringing Lived Lives to Swift’s Asylum: a psychiatric hospital perspective. Wellcome Open Research, 6, 85. ISSN 2398-502X [Article] (Submitted)

[img] Text
Malone Cleary Kelleher Jefferies et al Conf Paper Wellcome Version.pdf - Submitted Version
Permissions: Administrator Access Only
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)
141b52fa-a47a-4699-8d28-e51d9e5306d8_15588_-_kevin_malone_v3.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Background: Few “interventions” around suicide and stigma have reached into psychiatric institutions. Lived Lives is a science-arts approach to addressing suicide and stigma, informed by a psychobiographical and visual arts autopsy. The resulting artworks and mediated exhibition (Lived Lives), with artist, scientist and the Lived Lives families, co-curated by communities, has facilitated dialogue, response and public action around stigma-reduction, consistent with a community intervention. Recent evidence from Lived Lives moved us to consider how it may situate within a psychiatric institution, where stigma is chronically apparent.

Methods: Lived Lives manifested in St. Patrick’s University Hospital (Ireland’s oldest and largest psychiatric hospital) in November 2017. The mediated exhibition was open to the public for 4 days. Audiences included service users, policy makers, health professionals, senior hospital administrators and members of the public. Opinions and feelings were collected. The event was documented. Bereavement support was available. A Clinician and an artist provided independent evaluation.

Results: 86 participants engaged with the exhibition. 62% of participants were suicide-bereaved; 46% had experienced a mental health difficulty, and 35% had been suicidal in the past. 91% thought Lived Lives could be of benefit in the aftermath of a suicide death. Half of participants thought Lived Lives could help reduce suicidal feelings, whereas 88% thought it could benefit those with Mental Health difficulties. The emotional response was of a visceral nature, including fear, anger, sadness, disgust and anxiety. Bereavement support was occasionally called upon in a supportive capacity.

Conclusions: Lived Lives sits comfortably in discomfort, unafraid to call out the home-truths about stigma and its pervasive and pernicious impact, and with restoring identity at its core. Lived Lives can operate within a psychiatric hospital, as well as in community. The challenge is to move it forward for greater exposure and impacts in at-risk communities.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

Presented in part at the 146th Annual International Scientific Conference of the American Psychiatric Association, San Francisco, USA. (May 2019), and at The International Academy for Suicide Research (IASR) / American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) International Summit on Suicide Research, Miami Florida, USA. (October 2019).

This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [208947]. This work was also supported by a European Union Research and Innovation Science in Society grant.


Stigma, Mental Illness, Psychiatric Hospitalization, Suicidal Ideation, Psychoeducation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



19 April 2021Submitted
29 March 2022Published

Event Location:

San Francisco, United States

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 May 2021 16:09

Last Modified:

24 May 2022 11:24

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)