Do Adolescents See any Benefit in Accessing Mental Health Services? Results from an Australian Cross-Sectional Study

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Abstract

Identify the perceived benefit of mental health service use for two adolescent populations: (i) those who had considered getting help from a mental health service but had not yet done so, and (ii) those who had previously contacted or accessed a mental health service but not continued with care. Cross-sectional online survey of adolescents aged 14–18 years currently residing in Perth, Western Australia. Those who had previously accessed a mental health service but not continued with care often had less favourable perceptions of service benefit. Participants in both populations considered that mental health service use was least likely to be beneficial for conduct-related behaviours. Participants in both population groups from single-carer households or identifying as LGBTIQ reported a higher perceived benefit of mental health services. Our study highlights potential gaps in adolescent knowledge regarding mental health help-seeking. Perceptions of service benefit were often no different or less favourable amongst those who had previously accessed a mental health service but not continued with care. The range of sociodemographic factors significantly associated with perceived benefit across both populations in the sample indicates subpopulations of young people may require extra support within the system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2020

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