Suicidal behaviours and mental health disorders among students commencing college

Caoimhe Ward, Margaret Mc Lafferty, Jonathon McLaughlin, Rachel Mc Hugh, Louise McBride, John Brady, AJ Bjourson, CP Walsh, Siobhan O'Neill, EK Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


The increase in psychological disorders and suicidal behaviour in students is a reason for growing concern. Some may start university with pre-existing problems, while others develop problems during this time. It is important to evaluate mental health and wellbeing early, identifying those at risk. The aim of this study was to compare mental health problems and help-seeking behaviour between students in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Republic of Ireland (ROI). Whilst geographically proximate, the institutions span a cross-border region with distinct education and healthcare systems. First-year undergraduate students (n = 1828) were recruited in September 2019 as part of the World Mental Health International College Student Initiative. Suicidal behaviour, mental health and substance disorders were investigated using the World Mental Health- Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Prevalence of disorders was high, with more ROI students experiencing problems than NI students. Students were significantly more likely to experience mental health problems if they were female (p
Original languageEnglish
Article number114314
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry research
Early online date27 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Cross-border Healthcare Intervention Trials in Ireland Network ( CHITIN). CHITIN has received €10.6 m (or million) funding from the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) with match funding from the Departments of Health in NI and ROI.

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Help-seeking
  • Depression
  • Student mental health
  • Suicidal behaviour


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