Suicidal ideation disclosure: Patterns, correlates and outcome

Alison L. Calear*, Philip J. Batterham

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    45 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study aimed to identify how frequently suicidal individuals disclosed their ideation, assess which sources were perceived to be most helpful and identify correlates of disclosure and source helpfulness. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 1,616 Australian adults reporting suicidal ideation in the past 12-months. Participants were recruited from social media and reported on their disclosure of suicidal thoughts to formal and informal sources. 39% of participants did not disclose to anyone, while 47% disclosed to an informal source and 42% to a health professional. The responses of psychologists and counsellors were perceived to be the most helpful, while parents and hospital-based health professionals were perceived to be the least helpful. Severity of suicidal thoughts, younger age, and a suicide attempt in the past 12-months were associated with greater likelihood of disclosure, while participants who were younger, linguistically diverse, had greater suicidal ideation or personal stigma were less likely to perceive the response of a GP to be helpful. This study demonstrates that non-disclosure of suicidal thoughts is frequent and that the response received to a disclosure may not always be perceived to be helpful. Further research is needed to identify how best to support individuals who disclose suicide.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalPsychiatry Research
    Volume278
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

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