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Home > A rapid review of Irish Traveller mental health and suicide: a psychosocial and anthropological perspective.

McKey, S and Quirke, B and Fitzpatrick, P and Kelleher, CC and Malone, KM (2020) A rapid review of Irish Traveller mental health and suicide: a psychosocial and anthropological perspective. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine , Early online .

URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/irish-jour...


Methods: A rapid review of scientific publications related to mental health and suicide in Irish Travellers was undertaken following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Searches of PubMed, PsycINFO and Google Scholar were performed. Eligibility criteria included: (i) Irish Travellers/Gypsy Travellers; (ii) information on mental health/suicide/self-harm; (iii) psychosocial anthropological perspectives of mental health; (iv) publications in english. Data on studies including design, methods, participants and key findings were extracted using a spreadsheet template.

Results: From 5160 scientific references over the past 20 years, 19 papers made reference to Traveller mental health, and only 5 papers made specific data-based reference to suicide in Travellers. It was only when we qualified Travellers as being ‘Irish Travellers’ in our scientific review did we detect meaningful references to their existence as an IEM, and their health and well-being. Due to sample sizes and heterogeneity in design, results were synthesised narratively.

Discussion: This paper draws together strands from the disciplines of psycho/socio/anthropological perspectives to gain deeper insights into mental health and suicide in Irish Travellers. In a knowledge vacuum, it behoves the scientific community to explain the value of scientific research and rigour to both policymakers as well as Travellers, shifting the existing discourse towards new knowledge and understanding around mental health and suicide in Travellers.

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