Perceived need for care and mental health service utilization among college students with suicidal ideation

Boyoung Nam, Holly C. Wilcox, Matthew Hilimire, Jordan E. DeVylder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aimed to identify correlates of service utilization and perceived need for care among college students with suicidal ideation. Participants: Respondents were recruited from introductory psychology courses at an undergraduate college during the Fall 2014 semester. Methods: Independent correlates of (1) mental health service utilization, (2) self-perceived need, and (3) other-perceived need for mental health services among college students (N = 190) with suicidal ideation were identified. Results: Service utilization was associated with need for care as perceived by others. Perceived need for care by others was associated with suicidal ideation intensity and suicide attempt history. Perceived need by the respondents themselves was correlated with depression severity, sex, and race but was not independently associated with actual service utilization. Conclusions: Perceived need by others was the sole significant correlate of service utilization, suggesting it is an important target for public health interventions aimed at facilitating pathways into mental health treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-719
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 17 2018


  • Gatekeepers
  • mental health services
  • need for care
  • social support
  • suicide
  • young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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