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Mental Health Literacy, Help-Seeking Behaviour and Wellbeing in Young People: Implications for Practice

  • Prishini Ratnayake (a1) and Chelsea Hyde (a1)


Research indicates that individuals who have high levels of mental health literacy engage in help-seeking for mental health issues more in comparison to those with low mental health literacy. It is therefore important to ensure that young people are able to identify signs of psychological distress and identify appropriate supports and resources when necessary. Preliminary research has identified gender differences in help-seeking and identification of mental health problems. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between mental health literacy, help-seeking intentions and wellbeing in senior high school students. The sample consisted of 22 females and 10 male students, ranging from 16–18 years. Findings indicated a positive correlation between wellbeing and general help-seeking, as well as wellbeing and help-seeking for suicidal ideation. Gender differences were identified for aspects of mental health literacy and help-seeking intentions. Results of this research have implications for practitioners in fostering positive outcomes and developing targeted interventions towards improving mental health literacy and help-seeking behaviour in the future.


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