Social influences on seeking help from mental health services, in-person and online, during adolescence and young adulthood

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Abstract


Background

This study provides the first comprehensive empirical evidence of developmental changes in the social influences on seeking mental health care, both in-person and online, during the critical lifestages for mental health of adolescence and young adulthood.


Methods

Main source of help-seeking influence was determined via self-report for all young people accessing youth-targeted mental health services in Australia for a first episode of care over a 12 month period during 2013. This comprised 30,839 young people who accessed in-person services and 7,155 clients of the online service.


Results

Results show a major developmental shift in help-seeking influence across the age range, which varied for males and females, and a striking difference between the online and in-person service modalities. The dominant influence online, regardless of age, was the young person themself. In contrast, for in-person services, the dominant influence during adolescence was family, but this changed markedly in late adolescence to favour self-influence, with a lessor, but still substantial effect of family. The influence of friends was surprisingly low.


Conclusions

To support young people with mental health problems to access mental health care, the personal connection of parents and family needs to be engaged to encourage in-person service use through better mental health literacy, particularly for adolescents. In the online environment, ways to ensure that young people themselves are guided to appropriate services are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Mental Health Services
Mental Health
Episode of Care
Health Literacy
Health Services Accessibility
Self Report
Parents
Delivery of Health Care

Cite this

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title = "Social influences on seeking help from mental health services, in-person and online, during adolescence and young adulthood",
abstract = "BackgroundThis study provides the first comprehensive empirical evidence of developmental changes in the social influences on seeking mental health care, both in-person and online, during the critical lifestages for mental health of adolescence and young adulthood.MethodsMain source of help-seeking influence was determined via self-report for all young people accessing youth-targeted mental health services in Australia for a first episode of care over a 12 month period during 2013. This comprised 30,839 young people who accessed in-person services and 7,155 clients of the online service.ResultsResults show a major developmental shift in help-seeking influence across the age range, which varied for males and females, and a striking difference between the online and in-person service modalities. The dominant influence online, regardless of age, was the young person themself. In contrast, for in-person services, the dominant influence during adolescence was family, but this changed markedly in late adolescence to favour self-influence, with a lessor, but still substantial effect of family. The influence of friends was surprisingly low.ConclusionsTo support young people with mental health problems to access mental health care, the personal connection of parents and family needs to be engaged to encourage in-person service use through better mental health literacy, particularly for adolescents. In the online environment, ways to ensure that young people themselves are guided to appropriate services are required.",
keywords = "Help-seeking, Mental health, Family, Peer, Adolescence, Youth, Service access, Online",
author = "Debra RICKWOOD and Kelly Mazzer and Nic Telford",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1186/s12888-015-0429-6",
language = "English",
volume = "15",
pages = "1--9",
journal = "BMC Psychiatry",
issn = "1471-244X",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Social influences on seeking help from mental health services, in-person and online, during adolescence and young adulthood

AU - RICKWOOD, Debra

AU - Mazzer, Kelly

AU - Telford, Nic

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - BackgroundThis study provides the first comprehensive empirical evidence of developmental changes in the social influences on seeking mental health care, both in-person and online, during the critical lifestages for mental health of adolescence and young adulthood.MethodsMain source of help-seeking influence was determined via self-report for all young people accessing youth-targeted mental health services in Australia for a first episode of care over a 12 month period during 2013. This comprised 30,839 young people who accessed in-person services and 7,155 clients of the online service.ResultsResults show a major developmental shift in help-seeking influence across the age range, which varied for males and females, and a striking difference between the online and in-person service modalities. The dominant influence online, regardless of age, was the young person themself. In contrast, for in-person services, the dominant influence during adolescence was family, but this changed markedly in late adolescence to favour self-influence, with a lessor, but still substantial effect of family. The influence of friends was surprisingly low.ConclusionsTo support young people with mental health problems to access mental health care, the personal connection of parents and family needs to be engaged to encourage in-person service use through better mental health literacy, particularly for adolescents. In the online environment, ways to ensure that young people themselves are guided to appropriate services are required.

AB - BackgroundThis study provides the first comprehensive empirical evidence of developmental changes in the social influences on seeking mental health care, both in-person and online, during the critical lifestages for mental health of adolescence and young adulthood.MethodsMain source of help-seeking influence was determined via self-report for all young people accessing youth-targeted mental health services in Australia for a first episode of care over a 12 month period during 2013. This comprised 30,839 young people who accessed in-person services and 7,155 clients of the online service.ResultsResults show a major developmental shift in help-seeking influence across the age range, which varied for males and females, and a striking difference between the online and in-person service modalities. The dominant influence online, regardless of age, was the young person themself. In contrast, for in-person services, the dominant influence during adolescence was family, but this changed markedly in late adolescence to favour self-influence, with a lessor, but still substantial effect of family. The influence of friends was surprisingly low.ConclusionsTo support young people with mental health problems to access mental health care, the personal connection of parents and family needs to be engaged to encourage in-person service use through better mental health literacy, particularly for adolescents. In the online environment, ways to ensure that young people themselves are guided to appropriate services are required.

KW - Help-seeking

KW - Mental health

KW - Family

KW - Peer

KW - Adolescence

KW - Youth

KW - Service access

KW - Online

U2 - 10.1186/s12888-015-0429-6

DO - 10.1186/s12888-015-0429-6

M3 - Article

VL - 15

SP - 1

EP - 9

JO - BMC Psychiatry

JF - BMC Psychiatry

SN - 1471-244X

IS - 1

ER -