Storytelling of suicide attempt recovery and its relationship with mental health treatment-seeking attitudes and behaviors: An experimental study

Raymond P. Tucker, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
Rachel Haydel, Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
Mark Zielinski, Department of Psychiatry, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA.
Thomas Niederkrotenthaler, Medical University of Vienna, Center for Public Health, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Unit Suicide Research & Mental Health Promotion, Vienna, Austria.


This experimental study investigated if watching a brief video detailing an individual's recovery following a suicide attempt increased college student mental health treatment-seeking attitudes and resource engagement more than viewing a psychoeducational video about suicide. Undergraduate student participants (N = 218) completed the study online. Participants were randomized to see either the storytelling or one of two narrated psychoeducation videos and complete self-report measures following video viewing. Video condition as well as its interaction with levels of identification with the storyteller/video narrator generally did not predict treatment-seeking attitudes as hypothesized. A small but not statistically significant effect for immediate resource engagement was seen as those in the storytelling condition interacted with online suicide prevention more than those in one of the psychoeducation conditions. These results suggest that brief viewing of storytelling about lived experience with suicide may have minimal impact on treatment-seeking propensity in college students.