“Am I really the priority?”: The help-seeking experiences of students who self-harmed while at university

Tickell, Alice; Fonagy, Peter; Hajdú, Katalin; Obradović, Sandra and Pilling, Stephen (2024). “Am I really the priority?”: The help-seeking experiences of students who self-harmed while at university. BJPsych Open (In press).

Abstract

A growing body of evidence speaks to the problem of self-harm in university students.2-4 Estimates suggest that at least 7-23% of university students have self-harmed at least once, with 75% of these self-harming more than once.2-4 In this paper, self-harm is defined as any act of self-injury or self-poisoning, with suicidal, non-suicidal, mixed, or unclear intent.5 People who have self-harmed often require mental health support to manage associated mental health problems, emotional distress, and reduce risk of suicide.6 However, less than half of university students who have self-harmed seek professional help.7-10 A recent study found prevalent negative views towards clinical services among those who self-harm and noted minimal changes in the clinical management of self-harm over the past 16 years.11 Nevertheless, university students represent a distinct group with different social and professional connections and access to mental health services compared to the wider population. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the experiences of university students who have self-harmed, to understand if they report a similar pattern of dissatisfaction in mental health support.

Viewing alternatives

Item Actions

Export

About