Help-seeking for suicidal thoughts and self-harm in young people: a systematic review.
Michelmore, L. & Hindley, P.
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that only a minority of young people experiencing suicidal thoughts or self-harm present to any health services. This is of concern given that young people with suicidal thoughts or self-harm often require treatment for mental illness as well as to reduce their risk of completed suicide. We reviewed previously published international community epidemiological studies examining help-seeking for suicidal thoughts or self-harm in young people up to the age of 26. The studies confirm that the majority of these young people do not seek professional help, and this includes seeking medical help after an overdose. The majority of young people studied do, however, seek help from social networks that most commonly are peers. Factors influencing and barriers to help-seeking are discussed and highlight a need for further research into the role that peers and family play in the help-seeking process for young people with suicidal thoughts or self-harm.