A Theater Intervention to Promote Communication and Disclosure of Suicidal Ideation

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Young adults from Montana have a higher rate of suicide than their national counterparts. There is a clear need for targeted interventions to address this disparity. The authors evaluate a community-based, narrative theater project designed to increase awareness and use of suicide-prevention resources among eastern Montana youth. As a first step, seven group interviews with Montana young adults (n = 27) were conducted to identify current perceptions about suicide and suicide prevention. Interviews were conducted before and after subjects were exposed to a community-based theater production about suicide. Emergent thematic categories were organized using the four main constructs of the extended parallel process model. After the performance, participants expressed increased awareness of prevention resources; perceived susceptibility to the threat of suicide and depression; and self-efficacy for accessing help and assisting others. There were mixed results for perceived response efficacy. Implications and recommendations for intervention development are discussed.




Keller, Sarah N., Austin, C. Graham, McNeill, Vanessa (2017). A Theater Intervention to Promote Communication and Disclosure of Suicidal Ideation. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 45(3), 294-312. DOI: 10.1080/00909882.2017.1320569
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