"Mental health literacy": a survey of the public's ability to recognise mental disorders and their beliefs about the effectiveness of treatment.
ABSTRACT To assess the public's recognition of mental disorders and their beliefs about the effectiveness of various treatments ("mental health literacy").
A cross-sectional survey, in 1995, with structured interviews using vignettes of a person with either depression or schizophrenia.
A representative national sample of 2031 individuals aged 18-74 years; 1010 participants were questioned about the depression vignette and 1021 about the schizophrenia vignette.
Most of the participants recognised the presence of some sort of mental disorder: 72% for the depression vignette (correctly labelled as depression by 39%) and 84% for the schizophrenia vignette (correctly labelled by 27%). When various people were rated as likely to be helpful or harmful for the person described in the vignette for depression, general practitioners (83%) and counsellors (74%) were most often rated as helpful, with psychiatrists (51%) and psychologists (49%) less so. Corresponding data for the schizophrenia vignette were: counsellors (81%), GPs (74%), psychiatrists (71%) and psychologists (62%). Many standard psychiatric treatments (antidepressants, antipsychotics, electroconvulsive therapy, admission to a psychiatric ward) were more often rated as harmful than helpful, and some nonstandard treatments were rated highly (increased physical or social activity, relaxation and stress management, reading about people with similar problems). Vitamins and special diets were more often rated as helpful than were antidepressants and antipsychotics.
If mental disorders are to be recognised early in the community and appropriate intervention sought, the level of mental health literacy needs to be raised. Further, public understanding of psychiatric treatments can be considerably improved.
SourceAvailable from: Luís M Loureiro[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Abstract: Background: The assessment of mental health literacy is a key aspect in the design and implementation of mental health education and awareness programmes, specifically in school settings, given the high prevalence of mental disorders in adolescents and young people and the need for interventions adjusted to specific settings and target groups. Objective: To describe the assessment of the psychometric properties of the Questionnaire for Assessment of Mental Health Literacy (QuALiSMental). Methodology: Administration of the questionnaire to a random and representative sample of 4938 Portuguese adolescents and young people attending schools in the area of coverage of the Regional Directorate of Education - Centre. Results: The QuALiSMental has acceptable levels of reliability and a factor structure which is consistent with the theoretical components of mental health literacy. Conclusion: The questionnaire may be applied both as a screening measure of literacy and as a measure for assessing the impact of interventions on the promotion of mental health among adolescents and young people.Revista de Enfermagem Referência 01/2015; DOI:10.12707/RIV14031 · 0.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The impact of mental health problems and disorders in Australia is significant. Mental health problems often start early and disproportionately affect young people. Poor adolescent mental health can predict educational achievement at school and educational and occupational attainment in adulthood. Many young people attend higher education and have been found to experience a range of mental health issues. The university setting therefore presents a unique opportunity to trial interventions to reduce the burden of mental health problems. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) aims to train participants to recognise symptoms of mental health problems and assist an individual who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. Training nursing students in MHFA may increase mental health literacy and decrease stigma in the student population. This paper presents a protocol for a trial to examine the efficacy of the MHFA training for students studying nursing at a large university in Perth, Western Australia. This randomised controlled trial will follow the CONSORT guidelines. Participants will be randomly allocated to the intervention group (receiving a MHFA training course comprising two face to face 6.5 hour sessions run over two days during the intervention period) or a waitlisted control group (not receiving MHFA training during the study). The source population will be undergraduate nursing students at a large university located in Perth, Western Australia. Efficacy of the MHFA training will be assessed by following the intention-to-treat principle and repeated measures analysis. Given the known burden of mental health disorders among student populations, it is important universities consider effective strategies to address mental health issues. Providing MHFA training to students offers the advantage of increasing mental health literacy, among the student population. Further, students trained in MHFA are likely to utilise these skills in the broader community, when they graduate to the workforce. It is anticipated that this trial will demonstrate the scalability of MHFA in the university environment for pre-service nurses and that implementation of MHFA courses, with comprehensive evaluation, could yield positive improvements in the mental health literacy amongst this target group as well as other tertiary student groups. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12614000861651 .BMC Psychiatry 12/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12888-015-0403-3 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study assessed mental health literacy in Irish adolescents (N = 187), and explored participants’ help-giving responses toward hypothetical depressed peers. Participants read five vignettes, each describing an adolescent experiencing a life difficulty; two of the characters met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., DSM-IV) criteria for depression. The majority of participants could not identify depression or potential suicidality, but felt concerned for the depressed characters’ wellbeing. Most participants stated they would provide help if they were the depressed characters’ friends. Correct identification of depression did not influence the type of help offered. A significant proportion of participants did not mention engaging an adult’s assistance, and assessing for suicidality was not mentioned by any participant. Gender differences were found in mental health literacy and the type of responses offered. Education that emphasizes the importance of informing an adult and assessing for suicidal risk is recommended.Journal of Adolescent Research 01/2015; DOI:10.1177/0743558415569731 · 0.87 Impact Factor