Suicidal thoughts and attitudes towards suicide among medical and psychology students in Greece
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This observational study investigated the self-reported suicidal behavior and attitudes towards suicide held by Greek university students in the spring term of 2009. The Suicide Opinion Questionnaire was given to medical and psychology students. The prevalence of suicidal thoughts was 20% among psychology students and 8.6% in medical school. Furthermore, previous suicide attempts differ between psychology and medical students respectively (8% vs. 3.8%). Mental illness was correlated with suicidal behavior by the medical student group; the right to die was strongly supported by psychology students. Attitudes towards the moral aspects of suicide also differentiated between student groups. This is the first to date Greek comparison study on the prevalence of suicidal behavior and attitudes towards suicide between medical and psychology students. In general, the relationship of suicide with mental illness and the right to take one's life, attributed significantly in differentiating attitudes towards suicide between medical and psychology students in one of the biggest Universities of Greece. Considering the impact of attitudes towards suicide on the professional support of patients at suicide risk, further research should address the differences in suicide related knowledge and own suicidal behavior among future suicide gatekeepers.
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