Psychosocial Intervention Psychosocial Intervention
Psychosocial Intervention 24 (2015) 83-7 - Vol. 24 No.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.psi.2015.05.002
Mind the gap: Person-centred delivery of mental health information to post-secondary students
Un vacío a llenar: información sobre salud mental centrada en la persona dirigida a los estudiantes que han acabado secundaria
Laura Lynne Armstronga,, , Kaitlyn Youngb
a Saint Paul University, Canada
b OCAD University, Canada
Received 31 March 2015, Accepted 30 May 2015
Abstract

Mental illnesses are rapidly escalating on university and college campuses. It is well known that post-secondary institutions are not doing enough to address mental health concerns: this represents a significant gap in our attempts to meet the mental health needs of young people. Deficits in mental health knowledge are now proposed as a major contributing factor to both stigma and low service access, but little research has explored this issue. There is also little research to date concerning what young people want to know about mental health and how best to disseminate mental health knowledge. Without such information, knowledge may not be shared in a person-centred, meaningful manner that youth will use. We explored these issues in the present study. First year postsecondary students (N = 271; n = 183 females; n = 85 males; n = 3 other) from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada participated in the online survey. Almost half of the post-secondary youth participants, particularly males, had difficulty recognizing common mental illnesses, such as anxiety, eating disorders, and psychosis. Youth held inaccurate beliefs and stigma, as well as attitudes not in favour of help-seeking. They primarily wanted to know about symptoms of mental illnesses as well as how to cope with stress. Post-secondary students wanted to learn about mental health issues through public presentations, the Internet, and media. The present research suggests the need for an awareness and acknowledgement among policy-makers of first year post-secondary students’ knowledge gaps and youth-appropriate knowledge sharing. Assessing mental health knowledge, what post-secondary students want to know about mental health, and knowledge transfer preferences could aid in the development of a framework to address the significant gap in the mental health needs of post-secondary students in a personcentred manner.

Keywords
  • Mental health literacy
  • Post-secondary students
  • Knowledge translation
Resumen

La enfermedades mentales se están disparando en las universidades y campus. Es bien sabido que las instituciones que acogen a los alumnos que han acabado secundaria no hacen lo suficiente para cubrir las necesidades en materia de salud mental de los jóvenes. Se dice ahora que las deficiencias en los conocimientos en salud mental constituyen un factor contribuyente de primer orden al estigma y al escaso acceso al servicio, a pesar de lo cual apenas se ha investigado el fenómeno. Tampoco se ha investigado apenas hasta la fecha lo que los jóvenes quieren saber sobre salud mental y de qué manera divulgar los conocimientos en salud mental. Sin esta información, los conocimientos no pueden compartirse de un modo que tenga sentido y se centre en la persona para que lo utilicen los jóvenes. En este trabajo exploramos estas cuestiones. En la encuesta online participaron estudiantes de Otawa que habían acabado hacía un año secundaria (N = 271, n = 183 mujeres, n = 85 varones, n = otros). A casi la mitad de los participantes, sobre todo varones, les resultaba difícil reconocer enfermedades mentales como la ansiedad, trastornos de alimentación y psicosis. Estos jóvenes mantenían unas creencias erróneas y estigma, así como actitudes reacias a buscar ayuda. Querían sobre todo conocer cuestiones sobre salud mental a través de presentaciones públicas, internet y los medios de comunicación. Este trabajo propone que se necesita conciencia y reconocimiento por parte de los poderes públicos de las lagunas que sufren estos alumnos y difundir los conocimientos adecuados a la juventud. Evaluar los conocimientos en materia de salud mental, lo que los estudiantes que han acabado secundaria quieren saber sobre salud mental y las preferencias en la transferencia de conocimientos podría ayudar a desarrollar un marco en el que abordar la gran laguna en necesidades relativas a salud mental de estos estudiantes teniendo en cuenta a la persona.

Keywords
  • Conocimientos de salud mental
  • Estudiantes que han acabado secundaria
  • Traducción de conocimientos
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Psychosocial Intervention 24 (2015) 83-7 - Vol. 24 No.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.psi.2015.05.002