Perceived Confidence in Mental Health Help-Seeking among Students
Methods: University students (N = 698) enrolled in one Midwestern university participated in the study. A valid and reliable survey was used to examine college students’ perceived confidence in mental health help-seeking behaviors, perceived stigma-related attitudes, and experiences with mental health disorders. Multivariate analysis of variance was conducted performed to determine whether students’ perceived confidence differed based on sex, grade, stigma-related attitudes, and outcome expectations.
Results: Results indicated students were somewhat confident they could help a friend experiencing a mental health disorder. Significant differences in confidence were found based on sex, grade, holding stigma-related attitudes, and outcome expectations. More specifically, females, freshman/sophomores, students with lower stigma-related attitudes, and students with higher outcome expectations were more likely to feel confident in mental health help-seeking than males, juniors/seniors/graduate students, students with higher stigma-related attitudes, and students with lower outcome expectations.
Conclusions: Some college students may benefit from education and intervention to increase confidence in helping others with a mental health problem. Findings from this study may be used by mental health professionals as well as others working with college students.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe the relationship between mental health stigma and students’ willingness to help a friend with a mental illness Discuss the importance of implementing comprehensive programs targeting mental health on college campuses
Keyword(s): Mental Health, College Students
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Education at the University of Cincinnati. I have assisted numerous schools, communities, coalitions, and agencies in establishing child and adolescent health programming and continue to advocate for initiatives that will improve the health and well-being of youth. I have published over 50 peer-reviewed publications and have presented over 50 professional presentations at conferences focusing on adolescent health promotion.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.