Volume 2, Number 2 (2017)
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Home > Journals > SCIREA Journal of Sociology > Archive > Paper Information

Blue lights on bridges- Emergency responders’ attitudes about suicide threats occurring on a bridge in Lima, Peru

Volume 2, Issue 2, April 2017    |    PP. 1-16    |PDF (269 K)|    Pub. Date: May 14, 2017
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Alvaro Valdivia Pareja, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Applicadas, Department of Psychology, Lima, Peru
Diana Stark Ekman, University of Skövde, Institute for Health and Learning, Skövde, Sweden

Objectives: Suicide attempts from public places, including bridges, often result in emergency responders being called to these events. Little is known about the attitudes towards suicide in this group. The aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes towards suicides and suicide attempts taking place on bridges, including the Villena Rey Bridge, in a group of emergency responders working in Lima, Peru. Methods: The study is a qualitative one, involving analyses of response to individual interviews with five emergency responders. Results: The findings of the interviews revealed multiple attitudes associated with behaviour, cognition, and emotions, both for suicide in general, and as an occupational issue requiring interventions. Conclusions: While the risks to their own physical safety are described in each interview, respondents also described an emergency response reaction that numbed down concern for their own safety. There was very little in any of the interviews that indicated that responders understood the nature of suicide as a public health problem. By better understanding underlying attitudes, better training programs can be developed, which in turn can reduce the risk for post-traumatic stress in rescue workers, and improve the ability of rescue workers to communicate to people who are threatening suicide.

suicide; suicide, attempted; emergency responders

Cite this paper
Alvaro Valdivia Pareja, Diana Stark Ekman, Blue lights on bridges- Emergency responders’ attitudes about suicide threats occurring on a bridge in Lima, Peru, SCIREA Journal of Sociology. Vol. 2 , No. 2 , 2017 , pp. 1 - 16 .


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