ERIC Number: EJ978927
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
Where Do Jamaican Adolescents Turn for Psychological Help?
Williams, Dahra Jackson
Child & Youth Care Forum, v41 n5 p461-477 Oct 2012
Background: Stigma about mental health is a significant problem in Jamaica and the wider English-speaking Caribbean. In general, negative attitudes and opinions about mental illness have been found to negatively impact psychological help-seeking among several populations. Objective: This study examined Jamaican adolescents' preferential sources of help for a variety of psychological problems. This study also examined adolescents' beliefs about the usefulness of seeking help for several psychological issues. Methods: Survey data were collected from (N = 339) Jamaican male and female adolescents. Results: Results of rank ordered data indicate that for many psychological problems, Jamaican adolescents were likely to first turn to friends and family for help. In addition, faith healers, teachers and guidance counselors were consistently identified as the last sources of help among this population. Differences in this pattern were noted when specific descriptions of mental illness were provided versus when left more vague; and between adolescents from upper and lower socioeconomic groups. Discouraging findings reveal that regardless of disorder, adolescents did not believe seeking help would provide any relief from mental health symptoms. Conclusions: Jamaican adolescents in general do not think that seeking help for psychological problems would be useful. In spite of this, there are some clinical presentations where adolescents would likely seek help from specific providers based on symptoms experienced. In most cases however, teachers and guidance counselors were a last resort for seeking help. Implications for improving youth access to mental health services, community public health education, and stigma reduction programs are discussed.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Help Seeking, Adolescents, Mental Health, Social Bias, Negative Attitudes, Mental Disorders, Surveys, School Counselors, Teachers, Family (Sociological Unit), Symptoms (Individual Disorders), Health Services, Access to Health Care
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Jamaica