Help seeking and mental health service utilization among college students with a history of suicide ideation

Amelia M. Arria, Emily R. Winick, Laura M. Garnier-Dykstra, Kathryn B. Vincent, Kimberly M. Caldeira, Holly C. Wilcox, Kevin E. O'Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1510-1513
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatric Services
Volume62
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Arria, A. M., Winick, E. R., Garnier-Dykstra, L. M., Vincent, K. B., Caldeira, K. M., Wilcox, H. C., & O'Grady, K. E. (2011). Help seeking and mental health service utilization among college students with a history of suicide ideation. Psychiatric Services, 62(12), 1510-1513. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.005562010