Impact of attitudes and suicidal ideation on adolescents' intentions to seek professional psychological help
Few adolescents who experience significant psychological distress seek professional psychological help, a finding particularly pertinent in New Zealand which has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world. In the present study, 221 New Zealand high school students completed a questionnaire which examined the relationship between a variety of approach and avoidance factors associated with professional psychological help-seeking. Suicidal ideation, attitudes, psychological distress, treatment fears, gender and prior help-seeking were significant predictors accounting for approximately 23% of students', self-rated help-seeking intentions. Contrary to expectations, higher levels of suicidal ideation led to lower levels of help-seeking intentions for suicidal thoughts. This findings is discussed in relation to the process of help-negation which has been identified in clinical suicidal samples. The implications of these findings for interventions that increase appropriate professional psychological help-seeking in adolescents are also discussed.