Use of mental-health services by Australian medical students: a cross-sectional survey

Geoffrey Ryan, Ian Marley, Melanie Still, Zaza Lyons, Sean Hood

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Medical students have higher rates of mental illness compared to the general population. Little is known about services accessed by medical students for mental-health problems. This study aimed to assess the use of mental-health services by Australian medical students and to identify barriers that may prevent students from using mental-health services. Method: A cross-sectional online survey was designed and administered to medical students at the University of Western Australia. Questions focused on self-reported psychological well-being, use of mental-health services, the perceived usefulness of services and barriers to the use of services. Results: The response rate was 41% (n=286). Sixty-two per cent self-reported experiencing mental-health problems, and of these, 75% had used at least one service. General practitioners and psychiatrists were rated as the most effective service type. The main barriers to seeking help were not enough time, affordability and concerns regarding stigma, including disclosure and peer judgement. Conclusion: A high proportion of students with self-reported mental-health problems had accessed services. However, barriers were also identified. Access to mental-health services needs to be improved, and strategies aimed at reducing stigma and raising awareness of mental-health issues should be encouraged by medical faculties.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)407-410
    Number of pages4
    JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


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