Exploring functional concerns in help-seeking youth : a qualitative study

Cairns, Alice, Dark, Frances, Kavanagh, David, & McPhail, Steven (2015) Exploring functional concerns in help-seeking youth : a qualitative study. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 9(3), pp. 228-233.

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This study aimed to explore the functional concerns of help-seeking young people 12-25 years of age.


Semistructured interviews with n=10 young people seeking help from a youth mental health clinic were conducted. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using content analysis. Results were verified by member checking.


Participants identified reasons for seeking help, with the main themes being relationships, emotional management, risk-taking behaviour and difficulties with employment. There appeared to be a difference between the concerns of the older, post-school-age group and the younger participants.


Young people are able to identify their functional concerns and reasons for seeking help from mental health services. Understanding the concerns of these young people provides weight to the model of youth-specific mental health services. Future work examining concerns of 12-25 year olds should ensure adequate representation of the older group as their needs and concerns seem to differ from those of younger participants in this study. Post-school-age youth seem to be under-represented in existing literature in this field. However, a limitation with this study is the small sample sizes once the cohort is divided by age. Future studies with a larger, more detailed examination of the needs and concerns of this population are warranted to inform service delivery advancements and clarify the difference in needs between the post-school and current school attendee groups.

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ID Code: 67317
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Article first published online: 14 NOV 2013
Keywords: Function, Mental Health, Qualitative research, Youth
DOI: 10.1111/eip.12101
ISSN: 1751-7885
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Deposited On: 13 Feb 2014 02:53
Last Modified: 03 May 2015 23:51

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