Jennifer White is one of the founders of the Critical Suicidology Network, a growing international network of scholars interested in exploring alternatives to biomedical approaches to suicide prevention. Critical suicidology brings together persons with lived experience, mental health professionals, researchers, and activists “to rethink what it means to study suicide and enact practices of suicide prevention in more diverse and creative, less psycho-centric and less depoliticized, ways.”
She is a Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. She has practiced as a counselor, educator, researcher, and advocate. White served for seven years as the Director of the Suicide Prevention Center in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.
She has written numerous articles and book chapters on suicide and self-harm and has co-authored two books: Child and youth care: Critical perspectives on pedagogy, practice and policy (2011), and Critical suicidology: Transforming suicide research and prevention for the 21st century (2016). Her current research focus centers itself around the contemporary discourse of youth suicide prevention, seeking alternatives to one-size-fits-all approaches.
She is currently leading a Wise Practices for Life Promotion project funded by the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) of Health Canada. This project seeks to curate a series of wise practices for promoting life based on what is already working and/or showing promise in First Nations communities across the country. She is also conducting a study with family counselors to learn more about the challenges and opportunities they face with youth suicide prevention and the organizational conditions that support them to be most effective in their work.
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