‘Embracing is the most important thing we can do’ – Caring for the family members of patients at risk of suicide
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. 2021, 16 (1), . https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2021.1996682
Aim: This study explores mental health personnel's experiences in the encounter with family members of patients at risk of suicide so as to develop a deeper understanding of the content of caring. Methodology: Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with 12 participants and were analysed and interpreted using a model inspired by the philosophical hermeneutics of Gadamer. The context was psychiatric wards. Findings: Through a thematic analysis, four themes emerged: Acknowledgement as a premise for involving family members. Embracing with the family members’ feelings and reactions. Strengthening hope in a situation entailing a serious risk of suicide. Providing reassurance to family members in transitional situations. Conclusion: Witnessing the family members’ suffering and needs is understood as arousing a sense of responsibility in the participants and triggering various care strategies such as listening, embracing, strengthening hope and providing reassurance.