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Title: Experiences, beliefs and attitudes affecting mental health service access amongst suicidal university students
Author: Adams, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0005 0288 4548
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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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.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available