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Attitudes toward mental health help seeking as predictors of future help-seeking behavior and use of mental health treatments

Mojtabai, Ramin, Evans-Lacko, Sara, Schomerus, Georg and Thornicroft, Graham (2016) Attitudes toward mental health help seeking as predictors of future help-seeking behavior and use of mental health treatments. Psychiatric Services, 67 (6). pp. 650-657. ISSN 1075-2730

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Identification Number: 10.1176/appi.ps.201500164

Abstract

Objectives:The study examined the association of attitudes toward mental health help seeking and beliefs about the effectiveness of treatments with future help-seeking behavior and use of specific services in the general population.Methods:Data on attitudes and beliefs at baseline were taken from the U.S. National Comorbidity Survey (NCS), a general population survey conducted in 1990?1992. Help seeking from various providers and use of psychiatric medications and counseling or therapy were examined in the NCS follow-up, in which 5,001 of the original NCS participants were reinterviewed in 2001?2003.Results:Willingness to seek professional help for a serious emotional problem and feeling comfortable talking about personal problems with professionals were significantly associated with future help seeking and treatment use. One-third (33.4%) of participants who stated at baseline that they would ?definitely go? to a professional if they had a serious emotional problem sought future help, compared with 20.7% of those who would ?definitely not go.? Corresponding values were 33.4% and 24.4% for those who reported feeling ?very comfortable? and ?not at all comfortable,? respectively, talking about personal problems with a professional. The associations were consistent among participants with and without a history of help seeking and with and without mood, anxiety, or substance use disorders during the follow-up. Embarrassment if friends found out and beliefs about treatment effectiveness were not associated with future help seeking or service use.Conclusions:Identification of attitudinal factors most closely linked to future mental health help seeking has potential implications for public mental health campaigns.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/
Additional Information: doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201500164
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2019 16:09
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 07:09
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102679

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