Student attitudes toward seeking and using counseling services

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Student attitudes toward seeking and using counseling services

Open in a separate window Note: Discussion The present study examined benefits and barriers to help-seeking as well as stigma-related attitudes towards mental health treatment.

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Thus, college students did appear to believe that receiving mental health services helped to resolve problems, perhaps indicating that many perceive treatment as effective. Several characteristics were found to be associated with perceived benefits and barriers of receiving mental health services as well as stigma-related attitudes toward mental health treatment.

Several study variables were found to differ based on sex. Results indicated that females were more likely to report benefits to participating in mental health services compared to males. As females are more positive about services, they may be more likely to seek, enter, and remain in services than males.

Similarly, study results revealed that females were significantly less likely than males to hold stigma-related attitudes. Based on study findings, it is apparent that males may be less likely than females to seek treatment due to low perceived barriers as well as high stigma-related attitudes.

Including these two variables as part of prevention and intervention strategies targeting male college students may be warranted. Campus-based mental health providers may educate male students on signs and symptoms of mental health disorders, when to seek treatment for mental health disorders, and helping others to seek treatment when needed.

Offering brief overviews of mental health treatment in classes, residence halls, and other key areas on campus may also heighten awareness and clarity surrounding mental health disorders. In addition, college health professionals may offer educational programs targeting males with information on the benefits of mental health treatment and the importance of seeking help when needed.

All strategies should be evaluated with future research to determine the effect on college students, particularly males. Contrary to general population studies which reveal that women are more likely to seek out mental health services compared to men Haunstein et al.

Several studies of college students found that male college students hold more negative perceptions and attitudes toward help-seeking behaviors than their female counterparts.

Thus, future studies should further explore sex differences regarding perceived barriers to help-seeking behaviors for mental health problems. Perhaps, exploring traditional gender roles or using qualitative research methods could help shed light on perceived benefits and barriers as well as stigma-related differences.

In contrast to our expectation, individuals in minority groups did not perceive more benefits to receiving mental health services than white youth. In fact, the opposite was true with white youth reporting higher levels of benefits for participating in mental health services than those in minority groups.

This finding is inconsistent with existing literature as previous research has found that minorities perceive more positive attitudes towards mental health services than whites Chamberlain et al. In addition, white students were significantly more likely to perceive barriers to help-seeking than non-white students.

An alternative explanation for this finding regarding race as a significant predictor of help-seeking behaviors among college students in the present study is based on cultural influences Cauce et al.

More specifically, future studies should examine potential cultural influences on barriers to help-seeking behaviors among the college student population. Consistent with previous research, denial has been established as a barrier to help-seeking behaviors, given that individuals do not want to acknowledge their own mental health problems and generally hold negative attitudes about individuals who seek help Corrigan, Thus, educating individuals about the importance of help-seeking and increasing comfort in discussing mental health with important others are important aspects of interventions aimed at decreasing stigma-related attitudes Pinfold et al.

Such information should be used when planning mental health interventions with college students. The present study found that perceived barriers to help-seeking differed significantly by age and previous utilization of counseling services.

Regarding age, the present study revealed that freshman and sophomore students were more likely to perceive a significantly greater number of barriers than junior, senior, and graduate students.

Student attitudes toward seeking and using counseling services

This is not surprising since a considerable amount of previous research suggests that age is a predictive factor for help-seeking behaviors since younger individuals have more negative, stigmatizing attitudes toward mental health services than older individuals Golberstein et al.

Such findings underscore the importance of reducing barriers to help-seeking behaviors of students entering college by educating them about academic transitions, social strains, and by increasing the awareness of counseling services offered on college campuses.

Those who had previously received counseling reported more barriers to treatment than those who had not. Perhaps, participants who have received counseling view more barriers than participants who have not received counseling since seeking counseling services again could involve fear of self-disclosing personal information to a new counselor.

Further research is warranted on how to increase counseling experiences as well as inform students about the private nature of counseling services. The present study found that students held low overall stigma-related attitudes.

Of the stigma-related attitudes, students were least likely to perceive individuals who go to counseling for mental health problems as crazy or lazy. Regarding differences, students ever receiving counseling were less likely to hold stigma-related attitudes than students who did not receive counseling.

This finding is consistent with previous studies, which found family history of mental health treatment to be positively associated with seeking counseling Corrigan et al. In addition, students with family or friends with a mental health disorder were less likely than students without family or friends with a mental health disorder to hold stigma-related attitudes.

Previous research revealed that adults having a family member with mental illness held lower stigma-related attitudes than their counterparts Corrigan et al.

Similarly, Eisenberg et al. Additional studies should evaluate the effectiveness of exposure and education on stigma-related attitudes. Limitations Several factors may have limited the generalizability of study findings.

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Second, as data were self-reported by participants, socially desirable responses may have been reported by some individuals.

Third, as the sample was comprised of students from one Midwestern university, caution should be exercised in generalizing results to other populations.Nomadic Tribes People with disabilities were considered useless because they could not contribute to food gathering or to the wealth of the tribe.

Nomads often left people with disabilities to die whenever the tribe moved to a new location. Many tribal cultures believed that disability implied possession by .

Student underutilization of counseling services on college campuses is a well- recognized phenomenon. By improving student attitudes toward seeking counseling, it is.

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This will include the NASPA Mental Health Conference. For more information, click here. The NASPA Mental Health Conference will provide student affairs practitioners with the knowledge and skills to effectively address college student mental health through a variety of integrative approaches.

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