ERIC Number: EJ792848
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Have Broad-Based Community and Professional Education Programs Influenced Mental Health Literacy and Treatment Seeking of those with Major Depression and Suicidal Ideation?
Goldney, Robert D.; Fisher, Laura J.
Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, v38 n2 p129-142 Apr 2008
"Mental health literacy" is the knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders that aid in their recognition, management, or prevention; it is also a determinant of help seeking. As such, it is presumed to be important in community suicide prevention programs. In Australia there have been a number of government, professional, and charitable organizations as well as pharmaceutical company suicide prevention initiatives which have been designed to enhance public and professional knowledge about mental disorders, particularly depression. This naturalistic study conducted between 1998 and 2004 in a random and representative population sample examined the changes in mental health literacy and treatment seeking of those with major depression, both with and without suicidal ideation, and those who were neither depressed nor suicidal. Results indicated that there was marked improvement in mental health literacy for all three groups, although there was less change for those most in need of intervention (i.e., those with major depression and suicidal ideation). Furthermore, there were fewer changes in appropriate treatment seeking in those with major depression and suicidal ideation. These findings are consistent with literature reporting limited problem solving and decision making in those who are suicidal, and indicate that there are limits to broadbased community education programs. More focused suicide prevention initiatives are required, specifically for those who are depressed and suicidal.
Descriptors: Suicide, Depression (Psychology), Help Seeking, Prevention, Mental Disorders, Mental Health, Professional Education, Community Education, Influences, Improvement, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia