Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

    Responses of health and social care staff to South Asian women who attempt suicide and/or self harm

    Batsleer, Janet R., Chantler, Khatidja and Burman, Erica (2003) Responses of health and social care staff to South Asian women who attempt suicide and/or self harm. Journal of social work practice, 17 (1). pp. 103-114. ISSN 1465-3885

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    This paper draws on a ten month British study completed in April 2001 investigating service responses to women of South Asian background who had attempted suicide or who self-harmed. The scope of the study is briefly outlined and an analysis of perspectives documented in the study is presented, drawing on research interviews with 18 staff from a variety of health and social care disciplines and with seven survivors of attempted suicide/self-harm. The implications of this analysis for improving practice are considered. Attitudes surrounding attempted suicide and self-harm are discussed. The issue of 'race anxiety' is also discussed. The factors seen by workers as contributing to South Asian women's attempted suicide are considered, with a particular focus on the difficulties caused in the delivery of services by common-sense accounts of cultural issues. Current approaches to the delivery of services to South Asian women are identified and analysed, showing how their current organisation can lead to circularity in referral systems and consequent non-intentional neglect of the needs of this client group. It is urged that proper consideration be given to the support and professional supervision of staff in this complex area of work.

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