Barriers to help-seeking in young people: community beliefs about youth suicide
The present article reports on a study of the attitudes and behaviour of young people towards help-seeking during times of emotional distress and, in particular, when contemplating suicide. Twent- one young people aged between 16 and 24 years, as well as six parents and 14 youth service providers who lived in 'Subcity', a metropolitan community, were interviewed about their understandings of youth suicide and effective interventions. Nearly all the young people, service providers and parents identified a range of barriers that impede or prevent young people from asking for help when they need it most, including issues related to trust and confidentiality, parental support and fear, stigma and perceived loss of esteem. Implications for social work practice include an emphasis on developing parenting skills and community development related to education about suicide and the provision of appropriate support services.