A Content Analysis of Online Suicide Notes: Attempted Suicide versus Attempt Resulting in Suicide

John Synnott, Maria Ioannou, Angela Coyne, Siobhan Hemingway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


The current study analysed fifty suicide notes of those who died by suicide and fifty suicide notes of those who survived their suicide attempt using Smallest Space Analysis (SSA). The core of all suicide notes was discovered to be constructed with the use of four variables: saying goodbye to their audience, feelings of loneliness, method used to attempt suicide, and negative self-image. Furthermore, three different suicide note themes of those who died and three suicide note themes from those who survived were also identified. The analysis revealed that suicide note writers who died by their attempt were more likely to combine a dislike of themselves and a concern for loved ones. The implications of the work in terms of suicide prevention are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-778
Number of pages12
JournalSuicide and Life-Threatening Behavior
Issue number6
Early online date28 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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