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ERIC Number: EJ1151784
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0743-5584
Mental Health Literacy in Emerging Adults in a University Setting: Distinctions between Symptom Awareness and Appraisal
Gagnon, Michelle M.; Gelinas, Bethany L.; Friesen, Lindsay N.
Journal of Adolescent Research, v32 n5 p642-664 Sep 2017
Despite the high prevalence of mental health concerns in university populations, students are unlikely to seek formal help. The current study examined help-seeking behaviors among emerging adults in a university setting using a mental health literacy framework. Responses from 122 university undergraduates were examined. Students ranged in age from 17 to 25 years (M = 20.67 years, SD = 2.03 years). Quantitative data were collected to determine students' knowledge and use of campus services and to compare students' awareness and appraisal of common mental health symptoms. Narrative data were collected to identify the key symptoms that are appraised to be "early warning signs" versus "early action signs," and to identify barriers and facilitators to help-seeking. Mental health symptoms were more likely to be assessed as warning signs than signs warranting action. Lack of knowledge and stigma were barriers to help-seeking, while urging from family and friends, increased knowledge, and confidentiality were identified as facilitators to help-seeking. Emerging adults in a university setting tend to make distinctions between warning and action signs. Although demonstrating good awareness of the signs of declining mental health, students may respond reactively rather than proactively to symptoms.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A