Mr Jaime Fontbona

Mr Jaime Fontbona

PhD Student

Exploring first-person accounts of suicide behaviour among Chilean youth: a socio-cultural approach

Culture is recognised as a crucial, but largely neglected dimension in suicidology. In Chile, young people's suicide rates have been increasing greatly, despite a remarkable progress in economic growth and human development. The current study aims to provide a deeper understanding of the social and cultural scenarios that surround suicide attempts among young people in Chile. This study will use a visual qualitative methodology to build a 'sociological imagination' of suicide behaviour in a vulnerable population. It has also a strong ethical component. The results are expected to inform a users' perspective to the Chilean suicide prevention plan for 2018. This study is guided by collaboration with the Psychiatric Department at the Hospital del Salvador, in Santiago, Chile. This PhD study started in 2012 and is expected to be completed by early 2015.

Jaime is a Chilean clinical psychologist who has worked at NGO's and public hospitals. Before attending graduate studies in Australia, he worked with adolescents and their families experiencing high levels of psychosocial risk. He has a Bachelor in Psychology (Universidad de Chile), MA in Clinical Psychology (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez) and Master of Health Social Sciences (MHSocSc) (University of Melbourne).


  • A/Prof. Deb Warr, McCaughey VicHealth Commuity Wellbeing Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.
  • Dr. Erminia Colucci, Centre for International Mental Health,Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.
  • Prof. Patrick D. McGorry, Director of Orygen Youth Health and ORYGEN Youth Mental Health Research Centre in Victoria, University of Melbourne.
  • Prof. Ramón Florenzano Urzúa, Head of the Psychiatric Service at Hospital del Salvador, Universidad de Chile.