This work may not be copied, distributed, displayed, published, reproduced, transmitted, modified, posted, sold, licensed, or used for commercial purposes. By downloading this file, you are agreeing to the publisher’s Terms & Conditions.

Focus on Suicide

Self-Reported Reasons for Not Receiving Mental Health Treatment in Adults With Serious Suicidal Thoughts

S. Janet Kuramoto-Crawford, PhD, MHS; Beth Han, MD, PhD, MPH; and Richard T. McKeon, PhD, MPH

Published: June 28, 2017

Article Abstract

Objective: This study examined self-reported reasons for not receiving mental health treatment among adults with past-year serious suicidal thoughts and their sociodemographic characteristics associated with these reasons.

Methods: Using the 2008-2013 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, we examined 8,400 respondents aged 18 years or older who had past-year serious thoughts of suicide and did not receive mental health treatment that year. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to estimate the associations between sociodemographic characteristics and self-reported reasons for not receiving mental health treatment among these suicidal adults.

Results: Among adults with serious suicidal thoughts who did not receive mental health treatment in the past year, three-fourths did not feel the need for treatment. Of the one-fourth of those who felt the need for treatment, the main reason for not receiving treatment was financial (58.4%), followed by logistical reasons such as not knowing where to go (36.1%). A greater proportion of suicidal adults than nonsuicidal adults perceived more than 1 barrier to treatment (43.8% vs 34.3%). Among suicidal adults who did not receive mental health treatment that year, the odds of not feeling the need for mental health treatment were higher in men (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.68; 95% CI, 1.42-1.99), adults aged 50 years or older (AOR = 3.02; 95% CI, 2.02-4.51), racial and ethnic minorities (AORs = 1.59-2.13), publicly insured (AOR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.14-2.07), and nonmetropolitan residents (AOR = 1.50; 95% CI, 1.20-1.88).

Conclusions: Most suicidal adults did not feel the need for mental health treatment. Of those who felt the need, multiple barriers were identified. A multifaceted approach to address these barriers is needed to promote receipt of mental health treatment among this vulnerable population.

Volume: 78

Quick Links: Patient Care

Continue Reading…

Subscribe to read the entire article


Buy this Article as a PDF

Sign-up to stay
up-to-date today!


Already registered? Sign In

In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Robert M. A. Hirschfeld, MD, 1943–2023

Robert M. A. Hirschfeld is remembered as a pioneer in the phenomenology and treatment of bipolar disorder....