Article

Changing attitudes of high school students towards peers with mental health problems.

Institute of Mental Health, Palmotićeva 37, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia.
Psychiatria Danubina (Impact Factor: 0.65). 07/2009; 21(2):213-9.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Stigma refers to the undesirable characteristics linked to mental illness and the adverse cognitive and behavioral consequences. Stigma causes a spiral of alienation and discrimination, leading to social isolation that diminishes chances for recovery. There is a great need for antistigma programs in order to decrease stigma related to persons with mental health problems. The antistigma program was initiated in schools of Serbia with the aim to address and decrease discrimination of adolescents with mental disorders.
Sixty-three students from high schools voluntarily participated in the program. The effect of the program on the attitudes of students was evaluated by the Opinion about Mental Illness Questionnaire given to adolescents prior to its implementation and six months afterwards.
Social discrimination and the tendency towards social restriction were reduced, while, at the same time, social awareness of mental health-related problems was increased among young people six months after program implementation. The results obtained clearly indicate positive changes in adolescents' attitudes and demonstrate a need for further educational activities regarding stigma and mental disorders.
Stigma and discrimination reduction programs for adolescents are aimed at achieving a change of their attitudes toward the mental health problems of their peers and themselves through organized education. Our program demonstrates the necessity for youth participation in mental health services and system, and antistigma actions are seen as important aspects.

Full-text

Available from: Lazar Tenjovic, Dec 14, 2013
0 Followers
 · 
144 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: AIM: Conduct a systematic review for the effectiveness of school mental health literacy programs to enhance knowledge, reduce stigmatizing attitudes and improve help-seeking behaviours among youth (12-25 years of age). METHODS: Reviewers independently searched PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, ERIC, grey literature and reference lists of included studies. They reached a consensus on the included studies, and rated the risk of bias of each study. Studies that reported three outcomes: knowledge acquisition, stigmatizing attitudes and help-seeking behaviours; and were randomized controlled trials (RCTs), cluster RCTs, quasi-experimental studies, and controlled-before-and-after studies, were eligible. RESULTS: This review resulted in 27 articles including 5 RCTs, 13 quasi-experimental studies, and 9 controlled-before-and-after studies. Whereas most included studies claimed school-based mental health literacy programs improve knowledge, attitudes and help-seeking behaviour, 17 studies met criteria for high risk of bias, 10 studies for moderate risk of bias, and no studies for low risk of bias. Common limitations included the lack of randomization, control for confounding factors, validated measures and report on attrition in most studies. The overall quality of the evidence for knowledge and help-seeking behaviour outcomes was very low, and low for the attitude outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Research into school-based mental health literacy is still in its infancy and there is insufficient evidence to claim for positive impact of school mental health literacy programs on knowledge improvement, attitudinal change or help-seeking behaviour. Future research should focus on methods to appropriately determine the evidence of effectiveness on school-based mental health literacy programs, considering the values of both RCTs and other research designs in this approach. Educators should consider the strengths and weaknesses of current mental health literacy programs to inform decisions regarding possible implementation.
    Early Intervention in Psychiatry 01/2013; 7(2). DOI:10.1111/eip.12010 · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aims and method Research shows that 16- to 19-year-olds express the greatest level of negative attitudes towards people with mental illness. Our aim was to assess the effectiveness of work experience placements in influencing secondary-school students' attitudes towards mental illness and career choices. The Adolescent Attitude Towards Mental Illness questionnaire measured and assessed the adolescents' attitude changes. Pre- and post-evaluation questionnaires assessed changes in their career choices. Results There was a statistically significant change in the adolescents' attitudes, especially regarding categorical thinking and perceptions that people with mental illness are violent and out of control. There was also a positive shift in their career choices towards options in the field of mental health. Clinical implications Work experience placements can have a positive impact on secondary-school students' attitudes towards mental illness and may improve the level of student recruitment into the field of psychiatry.
    08/2014; 38(4):159-63. DOI:10.1192/pb.bp.114.046714
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: This study evaluated the effectiveness of the In One Voice campaign for raising mental health awareness and improving attitudes of youth and young adults towards mental health issues. The campaign featured a prominent male sports figure talking about mental health issues and used online social media. METHODS: A successive independent samples design assessed market penetration and attitudinal changes among the young people. Two samples completed an online questionnaire either immediately before (T1: n = 403) or 2 months after (T2: n = 403) the campaign launch. Website analytics determined changes in activity levels of a youth-focused mental health website (mindcheck.ca). RESULTS: One-quarter (24.8 %, n = 100) of the respondents remembered the campaign. The proportion of respondents who were aware of the website increased significantly from 6.0 % at T1 to 15.6 % at T2. Average overall scores on standardized measures of personal stigma and social distance were not significantly different between T1 and T2 respondents. Attitudes towards mental health issues were statistically similar between respondents who were or were not exposed to the campaign. Those who were exposed to the campaign were significantly more likely to talk about and seek information relating to mental health issues. CONCLUSIONS: The proximal outcomes of the campaign to increase awareness and use of the website were achieved. The distal outcome of the campaign to improve attitudes towards mental health issues was not successfully achieved. The brief social media campaign improved mental health literacy outcomes, but had limited effect on personal stigma and social distance.
    Social Psychiatry 11/2012; 48(6). DOI:10.1007/s00127-012-0617-3 · 2.58 Impact Factor