Views of young people in Malaysia on mental health, help-seeking and unusual psychological experiences

Berry, Clio, Michelson, Daniel, Othman, Ellisha, Tan, Jun C., Gee, Brioney, Hodgekins, Joanne, Byrne, Rory E., Ng, Alvin L.O., Marsh, Nigel V., Coker, Sian, and Fowler, David (2020) Views of young people in Malaysia on mental health, help-seeking and unusual psychological experiences. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 14 (1). pp. 115-123.

[img] PDF (Published version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.1111/eip.12832
 
1


Abstract

Aim: Mental health problems are prevalent among young people in Malaysia yet access to specialist mental health care is extremely limited. More context-specific research is needed to understand the factors affecting help-seeking in youth, when mental health problems typically have first onset. We aimed to explore the attitudes of vulnerable young Malaysians regarding mental health problems including unusual psychological experiences, help-seeking and mental health treatment.

Methods: In the present study, nine young people (aged 16–23 years) from low-income backgrounds participated in a semi-structured interview about their perspectives on mental health problems, unusual psychological experiences and help-seeking.

Results: Four themes were developed using thematic analysis. "Is it that they [have] family problems?" reflected participants' explanatory models of mental health problems. "Maybe in Malaysia" was concerned with perceptions of Malaysian culture as both encouraging of open sharing of problems and experiences, but also potentially stigmatizing. "You have to ask for help" emphasized the importance of mental health help-seeking despite potential stigma. "It depends on the person" addressed the challenges of engaging with psychological therapy.

Conclusions: We conclude that young people in Malaysia may hold compassionate, non-stigmatizing views towards people experiencing mental health problems and a desire to increase their knowledge and understandings. Yet societal stigma is a perceived reputational risk that may affect mental health problem disclosure and helpseeking. We suggest that efforts to improve mental health literacy would be valued by young Malaysians and could support reduced stigma and earlier help-seeking.

Item ID: 58547
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1751-7893
Keywords: early intervention, help-seeking, psychosis, stigma, youth mental health
Copyright Information: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2020 23:20
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page