Predicting disclosure and help-seeking in university students with psychosocial problems based on stigma and attitudes towards disclosure and help-seeking

J. M. Dopmeijer*, J. M. de Jonge, T. L. S. Visscher, R. H. L. M. Bovens, R. W. Wiers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Despite high prevalence of mental health problems among university students, there’s a gap between the need for help and the actual treatment received. This study investigated disclosure on distress and hazardous alcohol use and help-seeking behavior in a sample of 1,791 students of a Dutch university of applied sciences. Students’ perceived public and personal stigma, and attitudes towards disclosure and help-seeking were assessed as possible predictors of disclosure and help-seeking behavior. Results of the analysis of variance and logistic regression analysis indicated that perceived public and personal stigma did not predict disclosure and helpseeking behavior, but that attitudes towards disclosure and help-seeking did. Students with both distress and hazardous alcohol use have the least tendency to disclose their problems to family, friends or classmates, but at the same time they do tend to seek help. Disclosure and seeking help for mental health challenges are health promoting competencies that seem to need more attention in university students. Although further research needs to validate these findings, it is recommended to promote disclosure and help-seeking among students by investing in mental health literacy programs, to educate students about mental health issues, raise awareness on available mental health services and their potential benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalMental Health and Addiction Research
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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