Background: Suicidal behaviors (completed suicide, deliberate self-harm, suicidal ideation) are global public health issues. Suicidal ideation is the first step on the suicide ‘pathway’ and an important area of potential intervention for primary prevention of both deliberate self-harm and suicide.
Objectives: The study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of suicide ideation and to examine the relationship between socio-demographic factors and suicidal ideation among high school students in Karachi, Pakistan.
Method: A quantitative, cross-sectional study was conducted among 123 students who were recruited from one of the schools of upper-middle class in Karachi, Pakistan. Study participants were administered Urdu version of Beck Scale for Suicidal Ideation that has a score range of 0-38 on 19 items. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: Our findings showed that 58.54% (n=72) of the total sample had suicidal ideation. Female gender and past visit to mental health professional were significantly associated with the desire to make a suicide attempt.
Conclusion: Our study revealed high prevalence of suicidal ideation among young students of Karachi, Pakistan. Findings from present study have important policy implications in highlighting the need to establish student mental health programs; mental health support services at the institutional level which can be an effective way to establish primary prevention for young students.
Key words: suicide ideation, Beck Scale, young people, high school, Pakistan.