Asian American college students, perceived burdensomeness, and willingness to seek help.

The present study examined the relationship between known risk factors for suicide and willingness to seek help among Asian American college students. The results revealed that Asian American students, relative to White American students, reported higher levels of two major contributors to suicidal risk: perceived burdensomeness on others and thwarted belongingness with others. Asian American students also reported less willingness to seek help from counselors and other mental health professionals than did White students. Furthermore, perceptions of burdensomeness (but not thwarted belongingness) mediated the link between students’ race (Asian vs. White) and their reluctance to seek help. These data suggest that for Asian Americans, perceptions of burdensomeness may increase desire for suicide while simultaneously decreasing willingness to seek help with one’s mental health issues. Additional results support the notion that Asian Americans perceive seeking mental health help as bringing yet further shame to one’s family. Perceived burdensomeness is not only a major contributor to suicidal risk but may also serve as a major obstacle on the road to recovery. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)