Offline versus online suicide-related help seeking: changing domains, changing paradigms

Seward, Amy-Lee and Harris, Keith M. (2016) Offline versus online suicide-related help seeking: changing domains, changing paradigms. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 72 6: 606-620. doi:10.1002/jclp.22282

Author Seward, Amy-Lee
Harris, Keith M.
Title Offline versus online suicide-related help seeking: changing domains, changing paradigms
Journal name Journal of Clinical Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1097-4679
Publication date 2016-06
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/jclp.22282
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 72
Issue 6
Start page 606
End page 620
Total pages 15
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Suicidal individuals are among the most reluctant help-seekers, which limits opportunities for treating and preventing unnecessary suffering and self-inflicted deaths. This study aimed to assist outreach, prevention, and treatment efforts by elucidating relationships between suicidality and both online and offline help seeking.

Method: An anonymous online survey provided data on 713 participants, aged 18-71 years. Measures included an expanded General Help-Seeking Questionnaire and the Suicidal Affect-Behavior-Cognition Scale.

Results: General linear modeling results showed that, as predicted, face-to-face help-seeking willingness decreased as risk level increased. However, for emerging adults help-seeking likelihood increased with informal online sources as risk increased, while other online help-seeking attitudes differed little by risk level. Linear regression modeling determined that, for suicidal individuals, willingness to seek help from online mental health professionals and online professional support sites was strongly related (ps < .001). Help seeking from social networking sites and anonymous online forums was also interrelated, but more complex, demonstrating the importance of age and social support factors (ps < .001).

Conclusion: These findings show that the Internet has altered the suicide-related help-seeking paradigm. Online help seeking for suicidality was not more popular than face-to-face help seeking, even for emerging adults. However, treatment and prevention professionals have good reasons to increase their online efforts, because that is where some of the highest risk individuals are going for help with their most severe personal problems.
Keyword Emerging adults
Help-seeking models
Internet therapy
Online behavior
Suicide prevention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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