“I think I am worth it. I can give up committing suicide”: Pathways to recovery for Chinese-Canadian women with a history of suicidal behaviour Academic Article uri icon

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  • This qualitative study explored the experiences and patterns of recovery of Chinese-born women living in Canada with a history of suicidal behaviour. It explores a number of dimensions of recovery including clinical, existential, functional, physical, and social. The women described engaging in “survival” recovery in the short term and “thriving” recovery in the long term, with survival strategies extending into the thriving phase of recovery during their complex path to it. The survival recovery phase included accessing culturally sensitive mental health care and obtaining social and instrumental support to help ensure safety, manage stress, and treat psychiatric symptoms. The thriving phase of recovery was described as involving six components: developing an explanatory model with their health care provider; undertaking a process of narrative reflection and prioritizing self-care; engaging in interdisciplinary care team support; engaging the support of family and friends; exploring spiritual and existential supports; and creating goals for the future and a sense of mastery. Through these six avenues, the women began to experience a sense of self-efficacy and agency that improved their ability to cope with stress and pressure, leading to building a life with meaning. The interviews provided insights into how clinical care can be improved and how practitioners can implement a more recovery-oriented approach to practice.


  • Zaheer, Juveria
  • Shera, Wes
  • Sing Hong Lam, June
  • Fung, Wai Lun Alan
  • Law, Samuel
  • Links, Paul

publication date

  • April 2019