Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicide Ideology in Medical Students

Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicide Ideology in Medical Students

Vinod Gopalan (Griffith University, Australia), Erick Chan (Griffith University, Australia) and Debbie Thao Thanh Ho (Griffith University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2811-1.ch005


The risk of deliberate self-harm (DSH) and suicide ideology in medical students is a pertinent issue that has received a surge in attention over recent years. Medical students are at risk of normalisation of DSH and suicide ideology despite their mental health literacy levels and are still susceptible to the stigma of help-seeking for their mental wellbeing. This chapter will explore assessment, preventative and management strategies to improve education, awareness and ultimately reduce the rates of DSH and suicide risk. A comprehensive review of practices and techniques that medical training community and their family members could utilise to aid medical students to adequately and safety manage DSH and suicide ideology. This will assist in identifying crucial areas for future research to aid students, professionals, family and friends in supporting medical student health to optimise mental health overall wellbeing of medical students.
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Defining Deliberate Self-Harm

Deliberate self-harm may seem to be a straightforward definition in and of itself, however, many more aspects must be considered, including the frequency and time-period that DSH may occur, the purpose or expectations by the individual and the associations that DSH may have with concurrent moods, feelings, and thoughts. This section will discuss various definitions of DSH, the types of self-harm and its relation to other mental health disorders.

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