Lived Lives: A Pavee Perspective. An arts-science community intervention around suicide in an indigenous ethnic minority
Wellcome Open Research
Copyright: © 2017 Malone KM et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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.
This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust .
This is the final version of the article. Available from F1000Research via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 2, 27