Evaluation of a campaign to improve awareness and attitudes of young people towards mental health issues
- 4.3k Downloads
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.
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).
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.
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.
KeywordsAnti-stigma campaign Social media Mental health awareness Youth Personal stigma Social distance
Financial support for this study was provided by BC Mental Health and Addiction Services.
- 20.Heflinger CA, Hinshaw SP (2010) Stigma in child and adolescent mental health services research: understanding professional and institutional stigmatization of youth with mental health problems and their families. Adm Policy Ment Health 37(1–2):61–70. doi: 10.1007/s10488-010-0294-z PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 24.Hinshaw SP (2007) The mark of shame: stigma of mental illness and an agenda for change. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 31.Yamaguchi S, Mino Y, Uddin S (2011) Strategies and future attempts to reduce stigmatization and increase awareness of mental health problems among young people: a narrative review of educational interventions. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 65(5):405–415. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1819.2011.02239.x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 33.Yap MB, Jorm AF (2011) The influence of stigma on first aid actions taken by young people for mental health problems in a close friend or family member: findings from an Australian national survey of youth. J Affect Disord 134(1–3):473–477. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2011.05.039 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 37.Griffiths KM, Christensen H, Jorm AF, Evans K, Groves C (2004) Effect of web-based depression literacy and cognitive-behavioural therapy interventions on stigmatising attitudes to depression: randomised controlled trial. Br J Psychiatry 185(4):342–349. doi: 10.1192/bjp.185.4.342 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar