The personality traits of openness and conscientiousness from the Five Factor Model of personality were used to predict scores on a mental health literacy scale. It was hypothesised that participants who display high scores of these personality traits will consequently show higher mental health literacy scores than those who show lower levels of these personality traits. Demographic factors such as gender and level of education were also looked at to discover any potential relationship with the mental health literacy of participants. A …. Design was used to investigate whether such factors were associated with high or low levels of mental health literacy. The results are discussed in relation to help seeking behaviours; that is how mental health literacy can have an impact upon how individuals go about seeking help, their knowledge of how to seek help and how likely they are to seek help with mental health issues.
The study of mental health literacy is progressively becoming a topic of importance within the field of psychology, as well as the general health fields. Much of the research in to this area has shown that the general public display a significantly low level of mental health literacy, with many being unable to identify mental health disorders in the first instance (Dahlberg, Waern & Runeson, 2008). In order to seek help for a mental health disorder, an important factor to consider is recognition. Recognition that a mental health issue may be occurring is arguably an essential step that is required before anything else in order to seek professional help (Reavley, Morgan & Jorm, 2014). An inability to recognise symptoms of a mental health disorder may result in
Recognition of a problem is typically the first necessary step to seeking help from an appropriate professional, with failure to recognise signs and symptoms as indicating a mental disorder likely to delay help seeking (Gulliver et al 2010) - http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-244X/10/113
A Gap in Quantitative Research
Although there has been a considerable amount of research that has qualitatively looked at mental health literacy, there is a significant lack of quantitative measures regarding this area (O’Connor, Casey & Clough, 2014). The current study aims to partly void the gap in quantitative research in this area, by using a quantitative mental health literacy scale.
As well as a gap in quantitative research in this area, there is a significant lack of research regarding mental health help seeking behaviours, with little or no evidence to identify factors that contribute towards negative help seeking behaviours (Gulliver, Griffiths & Christensen, 2010).
Factors Affecting Mental Health Literacy
There are a number of factors that have been suggested to influence or even predict mental health literacy levels, including personality types, socio-demographic factors, as well as a number of others. High education levels as well as lower age groups have been associated with higher mental health literacy; particularly in terms of an individual’s ability to recognise common mental disorders (Wang, He, Jiang, Cai, Wang, Zeng, & Zhang (2013). Research that looks in to factors that can predict or even influence an individual’s ability to recognise common mental disorders is of high significance as such factors could also be affecting individuals help seeking behaviours. If there is a high inability to recognise mental health disorders across the general public,
For instance, research by Kaneko & Motohashi (2007) suggested that poor mental health literacy was strongly associated with the male sex and a low level of education. Furthermore, their results revealed that poor mental health literacy could potentially play a role in the contribution of male vulnerability to suicide.