Suicide and Culture -- Arts, Religion and Social Justice: Interview with Dr. Erminia Colucci | Episode 44
In the United States our suicide rates are going up, but in much of the world, the suicide rates are going down. In this interview I speak with the world renowned Erminia Colucci to discuss the Anglo perspective of a highly medicalized perspective of suicide and contrast that with an understanding of suicide in a larger context. In her view, we must situate suicide prevention within a social, cultural and political context to be effective. She is part of a group of “Critical Suicidologists” who are challenging some of the “truths” we have accepted within the suicide prevention field. As an activist researcher she wants to engage with the community and helps us better to understand the root causes of inequality, oppression, violence and related conditions of human suffering.
Erminia and I have this conversation at the World Congress for Suicide Prevention in Derry, Ireland. We are sitting in an art studio in the Playhouse for this conversation, and explore a ‘different way’ to help people on their darkest day.
Suicide needs to be seen in a larger context within the cultures people belong to
We need to break the silence in some areas of understanding suicide like social justice
By exploring alternative methods that work for people, like the arts, faith, and others, we can make a difference to alleviate suffering and prevent suicide.
About Dr. Erminia Colucci
Erminia Colucci is currently a senior lecturer at the Department of Psychology at Middlesex University London (UK), however she has lectured and conducted research all over the world including Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and in her home country of Italy. In 2015 she was awarded the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s award for innovative research among young researchers. The focus of her research is on on the cultural implications of suicide on mental health and suicide with a focus on low-middle income countries and immigrant and refugee populations. Her key interests are human rights and mental health, suicide and suicide prevention, domestic violence against women and children, child neglect/exploitation, spirituality and faith-based and spiritual/traditional healing, and first-hand stories of people with lived-experience of ‘mental illness’ and suicidal behavior. Erminia is passionate about using arts-based and visual methods, particularly photography and ethnographic film-documentary, in her research, teaching and advocacy activities. Erminia is the chair of the International Association for Suicide Prevention SIG in Culture and Suicidal Behaviour, Chair of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry SIG on Arts, Media and Mental Health and founder of Movie-ment (https://movie-ment.org) and Aperture, the first Asia-Pacific ethnographic documentary festival.
Connect with Erminia: https://www.mdx.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/staff-directory/profile/colucci-erminia
Critical Suicidology https://criticalsuicidology.net/
Mental Health Innovation Network — Suicide First Aid https://www.mhinnovation.net/profile/erminia-colucci
McDonough, Susan and Colucci, Erminia (2019) People of immigrant and refugee background sharing experiences of mental health recovery: reflections and recommendations on using digital storytelling. Visual Communication . pp. 1-23. ISSN 1470-3572 (Published online first)
Colucci, Erminia, Jorm, Anthony F., Kelly, Claire M. and Minas, Harry (2018) Suicide first aid guidelines for assisting persons from immigrant or refugee background: a Delphi study. Advances in Mental Health, 16 (2). pp. 105-116. ISSN 1838-7357 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/18387357.2018.1469383)
Wagani, Rekha and Colucci, Erminia (2018) Spirituality and wellbeing in the context of a study on suicide prevention in North India. Religions, 9 (6). ISSN 2077-1444 (doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9060183)
Colucci, Erminia (2016) Breaking the chains: ethnographic film-making in mental health. The Lancet Psychiatry, 3 (6). pp. 509-510. ISSN 2215-0366 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30034-7)
Colucci, E. (2008). Religion and spirituality along the suicidal path, Volume38, Issue2, 229-244. Retrieved on September 23, 2019 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1521/suli.2008.38.2.229
Wagani, R. & Colucci, E. (2018). Spirituality and wellbeing in the context of a study on suicide prevention in North India settings. Religions 2018, 9(6), 183 https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/9/6/183/htm
Colucci, Erminia. (2012). Spirituality, religion and suicide. Suicide: A Global Perspective. 73-101. 10.2174/978160805049911201010073.
Colucci, E. & Lester, D., (2013), Suicide and Culture: Understanding the context. Cambridge, U.S.:Hogrefe Publishing http://www.hogrefe.com/program/suicide-and-culture.html
Wang, D. & Colucci, E. (2017). Should compulsory admission to hospital be part of suicide prevention strategies? BJ Psych Bulletin, Volume 41, Issue 3. 169-171
May Tree Respite Center https://www.maytree.org.uk/
What is an Activist Researcher https://items.ssrc.org/from-our-archives/what-is-activist-research/