All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Cindy Cain

Advisory Committee Members

Elizabeth Baker

Janet Turan

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


Suicide rates in the U.S. have been climbing for over two decades, driving increased suicide prevention efforts nationwide. The population of those who have experienced suicidality or attempted suicide are estimated to be at least 25 times the suicide death rate and are not as well-researched. Stigma regarding the utilization of mental health care services and a fear of institutionalization may affect help-seeking behaviors for individuals who have experienced suicidality, potentially prompting use of more anonymous online sources of support. In this study, I aimed to research whether suicidality and perceived mental health stigma can lead to increased use of online support systems for people with unmet mental health needs, as well as assessing whether stigma acts to mediate the relationship between suicidality and online help use. Results show that suicidality and perceived stigma, as well as higher levels of psychological distress, are positively associated with online help seeking. Results of mediation analysis suggest that stigma does not act as a mediator for suicidality and online help use.



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