Addressing barriers to help-seeking behaviour through M-mental health services : a social marketing perspective

Schuster, Lisa & Drennan, Judy (2011) Addressing barriers to help-seeking behaviour through M-mental health services : a social marketing perspective. In 2011 ANZMAC Annual Marketing Conference, 28-30 November 2011, Perth, Australia.

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Although seeking help for mental ill-health is beneficial, the majority of persons afflicted do not access available help services. Young adults (16-24 years old) in particular have the highest prevalence of mental health problems and the lowest rate of help-seeking behaviour. Key barriers to help-seeking for young adults, including cost, privacy concerns, inconvenience, access to health professionals and interpersonal interaction, appear to derive from the face-to-face method of service delivery traditionally used to distribute mental health services. Social marketing employs the principle of value exchange, whereby consumers will choose a behaviour in exchange for receiving valued benefits and/or a reduction in key barriers, to achieve behavioural goals for social good. The appropriation of mobile digital technology to deliver self-help mental health services may reduce the current barriers to help seeking, however, extant literature offers no empirical support for this proposition. Our research addresses this gap by examining the perceptions of young adults regarding M-mental health services. Depth interviews were undertaken with 15 young adults (18-24 years old), who had self-reported mild-moderate stress, anxiety or depression. The data were thematically analysed with the assistance of Nvivo. The findings reveal M-mental health services reduce the barriers to accessing face-to-face help services to a large extent. However, they also present their own barriers to help-seeking that must be considered by social marketers, including negligible cost expectations and service efficacy concerns. Overall, this study highlights the potential of M-mental health services to encourage early intervention and help-seeking behaviour as part of a social marketing strategy to address mental illness in young adults.

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ID Code: 82037
Item Type: Conference Item (Other)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: mHealth, Help-seeking, Barriers
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 26 Feb 2015 01:44
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2015 01:44

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