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De-mythifying mental health taboo: Can an educational programme in combination with workshops change the perspective towards mental health and help seeking behavior among university students in Hong Kong?

Conference contribution
Authors Daniel Ahorsu Kwasi
Dalinda Isabel Sanchez Vidaña
Lipardo Donald
Parth Bharat Shah
Cruz González Pablo
Shende Sachin
Shilpa Gurung
Harun Venkatesan
Anchalee Duongthuothewa
Talha Qasim Ansari
Veronika Schoeb Mezzanotte
Published in Proceedings of the 5th International conference on medical and Health Sciences
Publisher Medical Education Centre for Research Innovation and Training, (MECRIT), and the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB)
Place of publication Bhutan
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Language en
Subject categories Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Abstract

Introduction: Promotion of mental health contributes to enhancing the ability of a person to reach and maintain a positive psychosocial state of wellbeing. The degree of knowledge on mental health significantly affects the willingness of an individual to seek for help in case of emotional distress. Aims and objectives: A psychoeducation programme was implemented to de-mythify mental illness and promote help-seeking behavior in combination with group workshops focusing on relaxation and physical activities in tertiary education students in Hong Kong. Methodology: A mixed method approach was used. Quantitative data was collected using questionnaires based on the validated tools to assess mental health awareness and help-seeking behavior. Focus group interviews were carried out to collect additional information on the program impact. Results: A total of 64 students participated in the study (mean age of 23.4 ± 5.2 years). A significant increase in awareness of mental health was observed. While the mean score increased from pretest to posttest, the help-seeking behavior showed no significant difference. A total of 18 subjects participated in 2 focus group interviews. The themes identified included definition of mental health, attitudes related to good mental health, challenges when dealing with mental health, strategies to deal with mental health, strategies to help others and positive impact of the program. Conclusion: The implementation of the psychoeducational program increased mental health awareness, had a positive impact on the participants awareness on self-care and promoted knowledge on strategies for self-help and helping others.

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