Youth perceptions of suicide and help-seeking: 'They'd think I was weak or “mental”'
Curtis, C. (2010). Youth perceptions of suicide and help-seeking: 'They'd think I was weak or “mental”'. Journal of Youth Studies, first published on 28 July 2010.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4263
Youth suicide is an issue of international concern and the college population may have a considerably higher rate of suicidal behaviour than the general population, yet seeking help for suicidality is uncommon. This research sought to understand college students' knowledge of suicidal behaviour and attitudes to help-seeking, in a New Zealand university. A mixed-method approach comprising a survey and interviews was utilised. Approximately one-fifth of participants had been suicidal, were aware of another student's suicide and/or had supported a suicidal student. Some participants expressed willingness to seek help for another, but far fewer were willing to seek help for themselves. Key reasons for the latter include stigma and a perceived need for self-reliance. Participants expressed greater willingness to seek help for another if they were not a close friend.