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Experiences, beliefs and attitudes affecting mental health service access amongst suicidal university students

Adams, Helen; (2020) Experiences, beliefs and attitudes affecting mental health service access amongst suicidal university students. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction: In recent years, there have been sustained concerns about suicide amongst UK university students. Despite increasing demand for services for students in severe emotional distress, students may not be accessing support services. This study aimed to identify barriers to, and predictors of, mental health service access for suicidal university students in the UK. Finally, this study also explored ways in which support for suicidal students could be improved. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was employed in this two-phase study. Content and thematic analyses of interview transcripts were considered alongside current literature in order to develop (in collaboration with students) an online survey asking UK university students about their life experiences, attitudes about mental health stigma and help-seeking, and utilisation of support services. Students also gave suggested improvements for services supporting suicidal students. Results: Commonly reported barriers to help-seeking amongst students were uncertainty around the seriousness of one’s needs and long waiting times. Personal contact with service users, perceived need for help, help-seeking intention and stigma were all found to be associated with suicidal students accessing support. Students commonly suggested services should ensure accessible, safe and varied provision to support students with suicidal ideation. Conclusions: This study has highlighted personal experiences and attitudes which predict service use, including previous social contact with service users, perceived stigma, and self-stigma. A number of frequently endorsed personal and institutional barriers preventing suicidal students accessing services were identified. These findings were discussed in the context of students’ suggestions for improved service provision.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy
Title: Experiences, beliefs and attitudes affecting mental health service access amongst suicidal university students
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110786
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