Objective: This study examined help seeking among 158 college students with a lifetime history of suicide ideation. Methods: Students were interviewed about episodes of psychological distress, formal treatment, and informal help seeking during adolescence and college. Results: Of the 151 students reporting any lifetime episodes of distress, 62% experienced the first episode in adolescence, and 54% had episodes in both adolescence and young adulthood. Overall, 87% received informal help, 73% received formal treatment, and 61% received both. Among the 149 who ever sought help or treatment, the most commonly reported sources of help were family (65%), friends (54%), psychiatrists (38%), and psychologists (33%). Of the 94 individuals who experienced suicide ideation in college, 44% did not seek treatment during young adulthood. Treatment barriers reflected ambivalence about treatment need or effectiveness, stigma, and financial concerns. Conclusions: Most students had some contact with treatment, but family and friends might be important gatekeepers for facilitating treatment access.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health