THINKING THE OTHER SIDE OF YOUTH SUICIDE: ENGAGEMENTS WITH LIFE
Despite a vast and growing body of published empirical literature on this topic and a recent profusion of new prevention programs, suicide continues to be the second leading cause of death among young people in Canada. Current knowledge about preventing suicide and suicidal behaviours among youth is extremely limited and thus the call for greater diversity and creativity in our theories and practices is more vital than ever. The purpose of this article is to open up new spaces for critical and innovative thinking about suicide and suicide prevention, with a particular focus on youth populations and those who work with youth. Post-structural theory is mobilized in the critique of dominant biomedical conceptualizations of suicide in order to create new spaces for thinking suicide otherwise, and to mobilize opportunities for youth to think with adults in the exploration of life affirming alternatives. Working against any final or authoritative impulse to determine “what suicide is”, we draw on theoretical and ontological frameworks that privilege difference, complexity, multiplicity, movement, and contradictions. This article is an invitation to engage with life in its creative, playful, and affirmative character; to seek joy, hope and a future in thinking suicide otherwise.
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