Do depression literacy, mental illness beliefs and stigma influence mental health help-seeking attitude? A cross-sectional study of secondary school and university students from B40 households in Malaysia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Mental illness rates among young people is high, yet the frequency of help-seeking is low, especially among those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Understanding factors influencing help-seeking, such as mental illness beliefs, stigma and literacy among B40 individuals is important, but past studies are sparse. Hence, we aimed to examine the factors associated with mental help-seeking attitude among students from the B40 income bracket. Differences in beliefs toward mental illness, stigma and help-seeking attitudes among university and secondary school students were also investigated. Methods: University and secondary school students from low-income households (N = 202) were involved in this cross-sectional study. Participants completed the Depression Literacy Questionnaire (D-Lit), General Help Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ), Mental Help Seeking Attitudes Scale (MHSAS), Self-Stigma of Seeking Help Scale (SSOSH), and Beliefs toward Mental Illness (BMI). Results: Mental help-seeking attitude had a significant relationship with self-stigma on seeking help (r = -.258, p <.001), general help-seeking attitude (r =.156, p =.027), and age (r =.187, p <.001). However, the strongest predictor for mental help-seeking attitude was self-stigma on seeking help (F (2,199) = 8.207, p <.001 with R2 of.076). University students had better depression literacy and lower levels of self-stigma and negative beliefs toward mental illness compared to secondary school students. Conclusion: Higher self-stigma and younger age were associated with negative mental help-seeking attitudes among students from low-income households. As self-stigma may be a barrier to actual mental help-seeking, efforts to reduce self-stigma in this population need to be intensified.

Original languageEnglish
Article number544
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2019

Fingerprint

Malaysia
Mental Health
Cross-Sectional Studies
Depression
Students
Literacy
Population

Keywords

  • Attitude
  • Help-seeking
  • Low socioeconomic
  • Self-stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

@article{8de3b87df7df4b0bb0dba6abf77aa4d3,
title = "Do depression literacy, mental illness beliefs and stigma influence mental health help-seeking attitude? A cross-sectional study of secondary school and university students from B40 households in Malaysia",
abstract = "Background: Mental illness rates among young people is high, yet the frequency of help-seeking is low, especially among those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Understanding factors influencing help-seeking, such as mental illness beliefs, stigma and literacy among B40 individuals is important, but past studies are sparse. Hence, we aimed to examine the factors associated with mental help-seeking attitude among students from the B40 income bracket. Differences in beliefs toward mental illness, stigma and help-seeking attitudes among university and secondary school students were also investigated. Methods: University and secondary school students from low-income households (N = 202) were involved in this cross-sectional study. Participants completed the Depression Literacy Questionnaire (D-Lit), General Help Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ), Mental Help Seeking Attitudes Scale (MHSAS), Self-Stigma of Seeking Help Scale (SSOSH), and Beliefs toward Mental Illness (BMI). Results: Mental help-seeking attitude had a significant relationship with self-stigma on seeking help (r = -.258, p <.001), general help-seeking attitude (r =.156, p =.027), and age (r =.187, p <.001). However, the strongest predictor for mental help-seeking attitude was self-stigma on seeking help (F (2,199) = 8.207, p <.001 with R2 of.076). University students had better depression literacy and lower levels of self-stigma and negative beliefs toward mental illness compared to secondary school students. Conclusion: Higher self-stigma and younger age were associated with negative mental help-seeking attitudes among students from low-income households. As self-stigma may be a barrier to actual mental help-seeking, efforts to reduce self-stigma in this population need to be intensified.",
keywords = "Attitude, Help-seeking, Low socioeconomic, Self-stigma",
author = "Norhayati Ibrahim and Noh Amit and Suzana Shahar and Wee, {Lei Hum} and Rozmi Ismail and Rozainee Khairudin and Siau, {Ching Sin} and Safien, {Aisyah Mohd}",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "13",
doi = "10.1186/s12889-019-6862-6",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
journal = "BMC Public Health",
issn = "1471-2458",
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T1 - Do depression literacy, mental illness beliefs and stigma influence mental health help-seeking attitude? A cross-sectional study of secondary school and university students from B40 households in Malaysia

AU - Ibrahim, Norhayati

AU - Amit, Noh

AU - Shahar, Suzana

AU - Wee, Lei Hum

AU - Ismail, Rozmi

AU - Khairudin, Rozainee

AU - Siau, Ching Sin

AU - Safien, Aisyah Mohd

PY - 2019/6/13

Y1 - 2019/6/13

N2 - Background: Mental illness rates among young people is high, yet the frequency of help-seeking is low, especially among those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Understanding factors influencing help-seeking, such as mental illness beliefs, stigma and literacy among B40 individuals is important, but past studies are sparse. Hence, we aimed to examine the factors associated with mental help-seeking attitude among students from the B40 income bracket. Differences in beliefs toward mental illness, stigma and help-seeking attitudes among university and secondary school students were also investigated. Methods: University and secondary school students from low-income households (N = 202) were involved in this cross-sectional study. Participants completed the Depression Literacy Questionnaire (D-Lit), General Help Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ), Mental Help Seeking Attitudes Scale (MHSAS), Self-Stigma of Seeking Help Scale (SSOSH), and Beliefs toward Mental Illness (BMI). Results: Mental help-seeking attitude had a significant relationship with self-stigma on seeking help (r = -.258, p <.001), general help-seeking attitude (r =.156, p =.027), and age (r =.187, p <.001). However, the strongest predictor for mental help-seeking attitude was self-stigma on seeking help (F (2,199) = 8.207, p <.001 with R2 of.076). University students had better depression literacy and lower levels of self-stigma and negative beliefs toward mental illness compared to secondary school students. Conclusion: Higher self-stigma and younger age were associated with negative mental help-seeking attitudes among students from low-income households. As self-stigma may be a barrier to actual mental help-seeking, efforts to reduce self-stigma in this population need to be intensified.

AB - Background: Mental illness rates among young people is high, yet the frequency of help-seeking is low, especially among those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Understanding factors influencing help-seeking, such as mental illness beliefs, stigma and literacy among B40 individuals is important, but past studies are sparse. Hence, we aimed to examine the factors associated with mental help-seeking attitude among students from the B40 income bracket. Differences in beliefs toward mental illness, stigma and help-seeking attitudes among university and secondary school students were also investigated. Methods: University and secondary school students from low-income households (N = 202) were involved in this cross-sectional study. Participants completed the Depression Literacy Questionnaire (D-Lit), General Help Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ), Mental Help Seeking Attitudes Scale (MHSAS), Self-Stigma of Seeking Help Scale (SSOSH), and Beliefs toward Mental Illness (BMI). Results: Mental help-seeking attitude had a significant relationship with self-stigma on seeking help (r = -.258, p <.001), general help-seeking attitude (r =.156, p =.027), and age (r =.187, p <.001). However, the strongest predictor for mental help-seeking attitude was self-stigma on seeking help (F (2,199) = 8.207, p <.001 with R2 of.076). University students had better depression literacy and lower levels of self-stigma and negative beliefs toward mental illness compared to secondary school students. Conclusion: Higher self-stigma and younger age were associated with negative mental help-seeking attitudes among students from low-income households. As self-stigma may be a barrier to actual mental help-seeking, efforts to reduce self-stigma in this population need to be intensified.

KW - Attitude

KW - Help-seeking

KW - Low socioeconomic

KW - Self-stigma

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