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Title: Help-seeking behaviours of university students in a Northern Ontario community
Authors: Nash, Sophie J.
Keywords: undergraduate university students;mental health issues;Sudbury, Ontario;northern communities;mental health professionals and services;help seeking behaviours;barriers;mental health care
Issue Date: 19-Oct-2018
Abstract: Prevalence rates for mental illness are high for Canadian youth 15-24 years old and for those living in northern and rural populations; however, a concerning portion of youth in need do not access mental health services. Although university student populations have higher prevalence rates than the general population, little is known about how Canadian university students seek help for mental health issues and the barriers they may face. This mixed-methods study examined the help-seeking attitudes, intentions, barriers-to-care, depressive symptomology, and help-seeking experiences of a sample of 61 undergraduate university students in the Northern Ontario community of Sudbury, Ontario. There was a total of 61 participants for this study. All participants completed a questionnaire package and seven of the participants volunteered to engage in an additional semi-structured interview. The overall sample had moderately positive attitudes toward help-seeking. Students who had accessed services were more likely to seek help from professional mental health services, had experienced more barriers-to-care, and had higher BDI-II scores than students who had not accessed services. Students not accessing care were more likely to seek help from their parents. There were no differences in the types of barriers faced between users vs. non-users of mental health services. Using thematic analysis, three primary themes were identified from the interview data: 1) Important factors in mental health care; 2) Experiences with mental health professionals and services; and 3) Barriers to accessing mental health care. The findings may help direct future research and endorse the need to further refine outreach interventions and available mental health services to promote student engagement with treatment at universities across Ontario.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses
Psychology / Psychologie - Master's theses

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