Students' benefits and barriers to mental health help-seeking

Health Psychol Behav Med. 2014 Jan 1;2(1):1009-1022. doi: 10.1080/21642850.2014.963586. Epub 2014 Oct 24.


Stigma is recognized as a potential barrier to seeking help for a mental health disorder. The present study assessed college students' perceived benefits and barriers to obtaining mental health treatment and stigma-related attitudes via a four-page survey. A total of 682 students at one Midwestern university participated in the study. Findings indicated that females perceived a greater number of benefits to having participated in mental health services and held significantly lower stigma-related attitudes than did males. Students who had ever received mental health services reported significantly more barriers to treatment than did students who had never received services. Health professionals should target students with educational programs about positive outcomes related to receiving mental health services and work with treatment centers to reduce barriers for receiving services.

Keywords: barriers; benefits; college student; mental health; stigma.