Examining factors that drive health-related students to seek help for psychological challenges

Int J Med Educ. 2023 Jul 24;14:88-99. doi: 10.5116/ijme.64a7.bffb.


Objectives: This study aims to find the prevalence of mental health problems and the rates of seeking mental health care among health-related students, as well as identifying factors associated with seeking mental health care.

Methods: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted among students from the Faculty of Medicine at a university in the 2021 academic year. A total of 832 students voluntarily completed an online survey measuring mental health problems and factors influencing mental health care seeking. Descriptive and analytic statistics including t-test, Pearson's chi-square test, and binary logistic regression analysis, were used to analyze the data.

Results: Among the participants, 46.80% (n = 389) reported experiencing mental health problems, but only 16.97% (n = 66) of them sought mental health care. Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that female (OR = 2.63 (1.08 - 6.43)) and LGBTQ (OR = 4.26 (1.36 - 13.37)) students, and those with a positive attitude toward professionals (OR = 1.10 (1.02 - 0.19)), were more likely to seek formal mental health care than those who did not.

Conclusions: The study findings indicate that mental health problems are prevalent among health-related students, yet formal mental health care uptake is low. To address this issue, mental health screening programs, improved knowledge and attitudes about mental health care, and mental health training for academic staffs who work with health-related students are necessary. Future studies should explore interventions to increase the uptake of mental health services among health-related students.

Keywords: health-related student; mental health problems; seeking mental health care.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology
  • Students* / psychology
  • Universities