Seeking treatment or not? A study on mental helpseeking and its relation to needs, symptoms, person characteristica, experiences and attitudes in a student population
AuthorSkarsvåg, Hedvig Aasen
This study was aimed at uncovering aspects involved in helpseeking behavior; more specifically describing reluctance to seek mental health treatment in individuals who have a subjectively felt need for such help. Respondents from a student sample (N=741) participated in the survey. 491 (66%) had never felt need for help and 250 (33%) had felt need for help. Of those who had felt need, one third (82) had sought help and two thirds (168) had omitted seeking help. The variables that were found in logistic regression to significantly predict avoidance of helpseeking was young age (β=-.21), depression symptoms (β=.12) and having been victim of bullying on repeated occasions in childhood (β=.12). Linear regression analyses showed that related to the depression dimension was gender (more females), low self-liking and low general satisfaction with life. Related to bullying-experiences was gender (more males), low self-liking and high emotional loneliness. The interpersonal aspects of the findings are discussed. Also a survey was done on what type of mental health service was preferred by the group that avoided helpseeking in spite of their need. The majority of this group (57%) reported they would like to make use of online counselling if this was offered to them. Although more negative than individuals without treatment-needs, a substantial share of help-seeking avoiders would like to use mental health services provided by psychology-students (35% wishing individual therapy, 27% wishing telephone counselling).
PublisherUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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