SUICIDE AND LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS
AN INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN NARRATIVE RESEARCH
My name is Peter Guyer. I am a doctoral candidate at the California Institute of Integral Studies in SF, conducting a study about persons who have seriously considered suicide while dealing with a life-threatening illness. I will be inviting participants in private face-to-face interviews to tell their life stories within the context of these very serious and sensitive personal issues.
Most research on suicide concentrates on the goal of its prevention. By contrast, this study explores the suicidal process as an experience, in and of itself. What is it really like, when confronted by a life-threatening illness, to honestly and openly examine the possibility of death by your own hand?
When we seriously consider suicide as an option, many powerful forces of society oppose the very idea of our examining the subject. Doctors, police, clergy, therapists, friends and family members simply want us to stop the process, and to get some help.
I want you to live. And if you have ever struggled with the idea of whether or not to live when confronted by a life-threatening illness, I will be inviting you to tell me where that experience has taken you, offering to witness your exploration of this potentially meaningful process.
I am looking for research participants who meet the following criteria:
1. Age) 40-60 years. 2. Type of Illness) The diagnosis of an illness which is life-threatening, but not at a terminal stage. 3. Gender) Both women and men are invited to participate. 4. Level of Suicidal Crisis) Subsequent to the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, having had the experience of seriously considering suicide as an option. The general question of suicide may remain unresolved during the study, but persons who are actively suicidal at the time of the study will not be invited to participate.
No direct benefit, either monetary or resulting from the experience itself, is offered or guaranteed. You may, however, find the experience to be interesting, challenging, and emotionally meaningful. If you are interested in taking part in this research project, you may contact Peter Guyer in the following way: (510) 658-3130. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org