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Incarceration Between Self-Harm And Suicide

Decent Essays
&Donovick (2005) discuss how approximately 30% of all offenders have engaged in some form of self-harm behaviour during the course of their incarceration. While some articles discuss how they are in fact one and the same and have the influence to impact each other, other articles depict self-harm and suicide to be mutually exclusive. This is evident when the Canadian Center on Substance Abuse (2006) states, “Research suggests that self-harm and suicide attempts have different intents, etiologies, bodily harms, frequency and methods. Suicidal acts are oriented toward ending pain and suffering through the end of life, while self-harm is viewed as a method of coping” (p. 2, 2006). They additionally share that some studies show an increase in suicide rates in those who have been subject to self-harming behaviours (2006). For this reason, knowing the triggering factors that could potentially lead to suicide is imperative.
Causes/Risk Factors
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The World Health Organization (WHO) discusses how individuals most vulnerable to commit suicide are those with difficult life events, a combination of stresses, and those with higher-than-average attempts. This includes young males aged 15-49, elderly people, indigenous people, people with mental disability, persons with alcohol/substance abuse and persons in custody (2007). Fazel, Grann, Kling, and Hawton (2011) state, “the strongest risk factors were environmental (being in a single cell), psychiatric (a history of attempted suicide, recent suicidal ideation, and a current psychiatric diagnosis), and criminal history (being on remand, having received a life sentence, and having a violent index offence)” (p. 192). Desmond (1991) found that unlike male offenders, female offenders often tend to form relationships with their
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