Actions taken by young people to deal with mental disorders: findings from an Australian national survey of youth.
ABSTRACT The study examined actions taken by young people to deal with mental disorders and the factors associated with help-seeking and self-help behaviours.
Participants in a 2006 national survey of Australian youth (aged 12-25 years) were contacted 2 years later and participated in telephone interviews based on a vignette of one of the following disorders: depression, depression with alcohol misuse, social phobia and psychosis. Personal experiences of these disorders and subsequent self-help and help-seeking behaviours were examined.
Of the 2005 participants interviewed, 275 (14%) reported experiencing a mental disorder since January 2007, most commonly depression. The most frequent sources of help were family (77%) and close friends (73%). General practitioners (GPs) were consulted by 53% of respondents. The most frequent self-help behaviours were physical activity (70%) and getting up early and out in the sunlight (46%). Beliefs about the helpfulness of interventions at baseline were compared with actual use in the following 2 years. Interventions ranked higher for beliefs about helpfulness than actual use mainly included consulting health professionals and cutting down on substance use. Interventions ranked higher for actual use than beliefs typically included lifestyle interventions but also included consulting GPs.
Young people with mental health problems are more likely to seek help from close friends and family and to use self-help interventions than to access professional help, although over half of survey respondents had visited a GP. Help seeking tended to be better predicted by intentions to seek help than by beliefs about the helpfulness of interventions.
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ABSTRACT: This is the first in a series of investigations of the social consequences of psychiatric disorders based on the National Comorbidity Survey. Data on the relationship between preexisting psychiatric disorders and subsequent educational attainment are presented. The National Comorbidity Survey is a nationally representative survey of 8,098 respondents in the age range 15-54 years. A subsample of 5,877 respondents completed a structured psychiatric interview and a detailed risk factor battery. Diagnoses of DSM-III-R anxiety disorders, mood disorders, substance use disorders, and conduct disorder were generated, and survival analyses were used to project data on school terminations to the total U.S. population. Early-onset psychiatric disorders are present in more than 3.5 million people in the age range of the National Comorbidity Survey who did not complete high school and close to 4.3 million who did not complete college. The most important disorders are conduct disorder among men and anxiety disorders among women. The proportion of school dropouts with psychiatric disorders has increased dramatically in recent cohorts, and persons with psychiatric disorders currently account for 14.2% of high school dropouts and 4.7% of college dropouts. Early-onset psychiatric disorders probably have a variety of adverse consequences. The results presented here show that truncated educational attainment is one of them. Debate concerning whether society can afford universal insurance coverage for the treatment of mental disorders needs to take these consequences into consideration.American Journal of Psychiatry 08/1995; 152(7):1026-32. · 14.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that the public have different beliefs to mental health professionals about the helpfulness of interventions for mental disorders. However, it is not known whether the public's beliefs actually influence their behaviour when they develop psychiatric symptoms. A postal survey of 3,109 Australian adults was used to assess beliefs about the helpfulness of a broad range of interventions for depression, as well as respondents' current level of anxiety and depression symptoms and any history of treated depression. A follow-up survey of 422 persons who had a high level of symptoms at baseline was conducted 6 months later. These people were asked which interventions they had used to reduce their symptoms. An analysis was carried out to see whether beliefs and other factors at baseline predicted subsequent use of interventions. There were some major discrepancies between the ranking of interventions as likely to be helpful and the ranking of how frequently they were actually used. Interventions involving mental health professionals were often rated as likely to be helpful, but were rarely used in practice. Other simple, cheap and readily available interventions were used the most frequently, but were not the most likely to be rated as helpful. The most consistent predictors across all interventions used were gender, history of treatment, current symptoms and belief in a particular intervention. Of particular interest was the finding that beliefs in the helpfulness of antidepressants predicted their use. However, beliefs were not predictors of use for all interventions. Beliefs about the helpfulness of an intervention did not always predict actual use of that intervention, although beliefs did predict use of antidepressants. Therefore, campaigns that change public beliefs about effective treatments may also influence actual use of treatments. Interventions preferred by professionals are not frequently used at present. Most people with anxiety and depression symptoms rely primarily on simple self-help interventions, the effectiveness of which has been little researched.Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 09/2000; 34(4):619-26. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mental health literacy refers to the knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management and prevention. This study examined the mental health literacy and experience of depression in a random and representative community population. The experience of depression and mental health literacy of 3010 subjects from a random and representative population were determined on the basis of responses to the mood module of the PRIME-MD and questions about a vignette of a person with features of major depression. Those with major depression had significantly more personal experience of depression than those with other depressions and those who were not depressed, but there were few significant differences between the groups in terms of mental health literacy. Of those with major depression, 40% considered anti-depressants helpful, but 40% also considered they were harmful. There is a considerable impediment to the recognition and management of major depression and a need for further community education programs.Journal of Affective Disorders 06/2001; 64(2-3):277-84. · 3.30 Impact Factor