Year: 2023 Source: Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. (2021), 51(1), 47-54. SIEC No: 20230088
Objective The connection of individuals at elevated suicide risk to mental healthcare services represents a critical component of suicide prevention efforts. This article provides recommendations for enhancing the assessment of help-seeking and mental health service use within the context of suicide prevention research. Method We discuss evidence-based and theoretical rationale for improving current approaches to assessing help-seeking and mental health service use among at-risk individuals. Results Recommendations are offered within three domains: (a) consideration of the spectrum of connection to care, (b) assessment of the degree to which mental healthcare services seek to and effectively target suicidal symptoms, and (c) evaluation of the sources and types of treatment and care sought and received by at-risk individuals. Conclusions To further our understanding of how to bolster connection to care and improve experiences with mental healthcare services among individuals at elevated suicide risk, it is imperative that stakeholders precisely capture the degree, efficacy/effectiveness, and nature of care sought and received by individuals. In so doing, research gaps might be better identified and, ultimately, mental healthcare services might be better leveraged as tools to prevent suicide and support individuals in creating lives they perceive to be worth living.