Associations Between Depression Literacy and Help-Seeking Behavior for Mental Health Services Among High School Students
Despite the growth in school-based mental health services (SBMHS), rates of mental health help-seeking among adolescents remain low, especially for ethnic minority youth. This study examined factors associated with adolescents’ help-seeking of mental health services among a sample of 369 racially diverse high school students (age M = 15.5 years, SD = 0.72, 81.3% were ethnic minorities). We examined the relationships among mental health literacy for depression, knowledge barriers related to services and providers, perceived stigmatization by others, emotional/behavioral difficulties, and actual help-seeking behavior. Logistic regression results showed that adolescents with higher mental health literacy for depression and more emotional/behavioral difficulties are more likely to report seeking help in general and from providers outside of school specifically, but not for services inside of school alone. Asian-American students were less likely to seek help than Caucasian peers. It is important to promote mental health literacy to encourage help-seeking among high school students.
KeywordsHelp-seeking behavior Mental health literacy Stigma Emotional and behavioral difficulties
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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