Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Regina Aguirre


Over a million people worldwide die by suicide each year. 32,000 of these deaths occur in the United States. Strikingly, that number is miniscule in comparison to the 300,000 additionally recorded and 775,000 estimated non fatal attempts in that same year's time (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008; Maris, Berman & Silverman, 2000). In 1999, suicide was recognized by the Surgeon General as a serious public health issue (Satcher, 2000). The purpose for this study was two-fold. First and foremost the effort was to increase knowledge about why people die by suicide. Secondly, the author hoped to assess the suitability and advantage of using the qualitative method known as phenomenology to conduct psychological autopsies. The findings from this study cannot be generalized because of the number of participants and the nature of the method. However, the findings are thought- provoking and present a telling picture of the struggles of both the decedents and their survivors. The narratives, when compared to the presented theories, demonstrate the way in which few people perfectly fit a theoretical mold.


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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Social Work Commons