The Predictive Role of Positive Mental Health for Attitudes Towards Suicide and Suicide Prevention: Is the Well-Being of Students of the Helping Professions a Worthwhile Goal for Suicide Prevention?



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Happiness Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Positive mental health; Mental health problems; Psychological well-being; Attitudes towards suicide; Helping behavior; Hierarchical multiple regression; Potential gatekeepers
Description This study evaluates the potential value of eudaimonic well-being in assessing pro-preventive orientation towards suicide and recognizing suicide as a solution. The aim was to integrate positive and negative conceptualizations of mental health for predicting attitudes towards suicide, and towards suicide prevention, among students of the helping professions. The study participants (166 women and 73 men, mean age 22.84) answered a set of questionnaires, including a Questionnaire on Attitudes Towards Suicide, Goldberg Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWB-42) and Centrality of Religiosity Scale. Multiple regression analysis showed that environmental mastery, purpose in life and positive relationships, controlled for religiousness and psychological problems related to general mental health, predicted the variability of attitudes towards suicide and pro-preventive orientation. Sociodemographic variables were not related to attitudes towards suicide. Our findings suggest that positive mental health, represented jointly by low mental health problems and eudaimonic components of happiness, plays a role in predicting pro-preventive attitudes. Therefore, improving positive mental health among students in the helping professions, these being the future gatekeepers, could be considered an auxiliary strategy for suicide prevention.