Psychological distress, help seeking behavior and suicidal ideation among school going teenagers in Uganda
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship psychological distress, help seeking behavior and suicidal ideation among school going teenagers in Uganda. The study was quantitative in nature and used a correlational research design. Interviews based on standardized tools and a social demographic questionnaire were carried out on a sample of 166 school going teenagers in Wakiso district and eligible participants were selected using accidental sampling. Data was entered and analyzed using the IBM Statistical Package for Social Scientists- IBM SPSS (version 22). Frequency tables were used for social demographic characteristics. The Cronbach alpha was used to measure the reliability of the study questionnaire. The Chi square test was used to test hypothesis 1, 2 and 3. The mediation analysis for hypothesis 4 was done using the conditional process analysis. Results showed that: there was a significant association between psychological distress and suicidal ideation, that there was no significant relationship between psychological distress and help seeking behavior and that there was no significant association between help seeking behavior and suicidal ideation and help seeking behavior. Findings also showed that help seeking behavior significantly mediates the relationship between psychological distress and suicidal ideation. Further research should be carried out to compare suicidal ideation between school going teenagers and non school going teenagers and to explore the help seeking patterns among the two groups.