Suicide: An existentialist reconceptualization

M. Roberts (Lead / Corresponding author), E. Lamont

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    The phenomenon of suicide is one of the primary concerns for mental health professions. The health-care literature is dominated by discussions that focus variously on local and national suicide prevention policies, on the assessment of those individuals judged to be at risk of committing suicide as well as the appropriateness and efficacy of interventions for those who express suicidal ideation and display suicidal behaviours. What appear less frequently in the literature, however, are critical analyses of the concept of suicide and, in particular, critical reflections on the manner in which the concept of suicide has been, and continues to be, understood or 'framed'. In an attempt to respond to this apparent omission, this paper will suggest that the work of Albert Camus, and his philosophical work TheMyth ofSisyphus in particular, can be understood as providing a significant reconceptualization and reframing of suicide. In doing so, it will be suggested that Camus's work not only challenges how the concept of suicide has traditionally been situated within the context of mental illness, but can also be understood as challenging the efficacy of the interventions that have been associated with an understanding of suicide within that context.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)873-878
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
    Issue number10
    Early online date4 May 2014
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


    • Concept analysis
    • Philosophy
    • Suicidal behaviour
    • Suicide
    • Theory development

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Phychiatric Mental Health


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