Providing meaningful care: learning from the experiences of suicidal young men

Joanne Jordan, Hugh McKenna, Sinead Keeney, John Cutcliffe, Chris Stevenson, Paul Slater, Iain McGowan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Little is known about young suicidal men's preferences for care. Using a broad interpretive approach, we interviewed 36 formerly suicidal young men in a study addressing the development and provision of mental health services. Our analysis yielded three core categories: widening access and bolstering proactive outreach, on becoming a man, and equipping young men for future challenges. Collectively, these categories suggest key features and processes of appropriate service configuration and clinical care: (a) services that reach out proactively serve to encourage young men's initial and ongoing engagement; (b) care delivered over the long term ensures a necessary focus on a meaningful future life; (c) mental health professionals (MHPs) are centrally involved alongside significant others, including those with personal experience of suicide; and (d) the development of a vital interpersonal connection is based on MHPs actively communicating their empathy, open-mindedness, and interest in a young man's unique biography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1207-19
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Age Factors
  • Caregivers
  • Community-Institutional Relations
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Masculinity
  • Men's Health
  • Mental Health
  • Mental Health Services
  • Northern Ireland
  • Qualitative Research
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Suicide
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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