2014 Volume 15 Issue 1 Pages 7-14
As a strategy for primary prevention of suicide, we have been providing intervention aiming to empower the protective factors of suicide among inhabitants in High rate suicide area of North Tohoku region, a Japanese city that, since 1997, has recorded high suicide rates. Using participatory action research and a qualitative data analysis approach called SCAT (Steps for Coding and Theorization), we examined the inhabitants' views towards “meaning for life”. The results of these studies showed that the elderly living in the area have a specific value that “working creates meaning for life”. They also have a specific feeling of comfort when the mutual communication between family members and the neighbors exists. Participants also reported having a feeling concerned when they found the decrease of body functions and loss of communication with younger inhabitants. We also found that the mutual bonding among family members and neighbors could solve such difficult situations and feelings. Empowering this mutual bonding may play an important role for preventing suicide in this area, and to build an ideal community with joy and comfort. Similar to the report by Oka, activities aimed to strengthen the bonding among the inhabitants would contribute to the empowerment of the protective factors of suicide.