Event Title

Perceptions of and Barriers to Help-Seeking Behavior in College Students

Poster Number

039

Session Title

Mental Health and Attitudes

Document Type

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor

Tara J. Collins, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Description

The objective of the current project was to examine the perceptions of – and barriers to – seeking professional mental health treatment in undergraduate college students. Though lower than the non-college population, suicide rates for college students are alarming, ranking suicide as a leading cause of death for 18-24 year-olds. A troubling aspect of this crisis identified by researchers is that only about 20% of collegiate suicides involved help-seeking at a campus facility prior to the event. This research sought to understand what causes students to feel stigmatized and to identify what prevents them from seeking help. Participants were 22 men and 90 women from a southeastern university. Data were collected through a convenience sampling strategy. This study examined attitudes and barriers to seeking help using two standardized measures and one that was developed specifically for this research. It was hypothesized that students who had perceived less stigma and fewer barriers toward seeking help would be more open to seeking treatment and more knowledgeable of campus resources. Five regression analyses were conducted to predict knowledge about resources from perceived barriers and attitudes about seeking help. The results suggest that there is a strong relationship between perceptions of stigma toward treatment and the knowledge a student has of their university’s services. It was concluded that the perceptions of and barriers to receiving professional help can ultimately deter a student from seeking professional help. This is compounded by a lack of knowledge or awareness of mental health resources, resulting in fewer students receiving the needed treatment.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2020; Sixth Annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors (SOURCE), Winthrop University, April 2020

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

Perceptions of and Barriers to Help-Seeking Behavior in College Students

The objective of the current project was to examine the perceptions of – and barriers to – seeking professional mental health treatment in undergraduate college students. Though lower than the non-college population, suicide rates for college students are alarming, ranking suicide as a leading cause of death for 18-24 year-olds. A troubling aspect of this crisis identified by researchers is that only about 20% of collegiate suicides involved help-seeking at a campus facility prior to the event. This research sought to understand what causes students to feel stigmatized and to identify what prevents them from seeking help. Participants were 22 men and 90 women from a southeastern university. Data were collected through a convenience sampling strategy. This study examined attitudes and barriers to seeking help using two standardized measures and one that was developed specifically for this research. It was hypothesized that students who had perceived less stigma and fewer barriers toward seeking help would be more open to seeking treatment and more knowledgeable of campus resources. Five regression analyses were conducted to predict knowledge about resources from perceived barriers and attitudes about seeking help. The results suggest that there is a strong relationship between perceptions of stigma toward treatment and the knowledge a student has of their university’s services. It was concluded that the perceptions of and barriers to receiving professional help can ultimately deter a student from seeking professional help. This is compounded by a lack of knowledge or awareness of mental health resources, resulting in fewer students receiving the needed treatment.