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Wednesday February 14, 2018

Young men’s experiences of suicide bereavement New research from Victoria University of Wellington reveals that a key aspect of young men’s experiences of suicide bereavement is ubiquitous silence. In his study, Chris Bowden found that young men aged between 17-25 who lost a close male friend to suicide, suffered, grieved and eventually changed in silence. His research found that the men fall into four types of silence following the suicide of a close friend: personal, private, public and analytic silence. “Early on, the men were unable to describe what they were experiencing to others,” Chris says. “They also chose to keep quiet, be stoical, suppress and control their emotions and keep their grief private. “In public and social situations, the words and actions of others and their fear of being judged as weak and vulnerable often silenced them.” Chris says they chose to break their silence only with those they trusted, who understood what they were going through and who “were there for them”. “The men also sought out quiet places to reflect on, analyse and make sense of their experience and how it had transformed them,” he says. Chris conducted in-depth “lived experience” interviews with the young men talking to them in everyday life situations – while working on cars, at barbeques, during events such as burnouts, and while

Researcher Chris Bowden says the studies of men’s experiences of suicide bereavement are largely missing and men have remained silent and silenced. PHOTO: Supplied

playing PlayStation. “To understand their experience as it was lived by them it was important to build trust and rapport, and to understand who they were and the friends they had lost.” Chris recommends that health professionals, families, whanau and friends learn to see, listen to and interpret the silence of men to better understand their experience and need for care and support.

Sunday February 18th 10am – 3:30pm

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Independent Herald 14-02-18  

Independent Herald 14-02-18

Independent Herald 14-02-18  

Independent Herald 14-02-18