International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Examining Mental illness Stigma, Help-seeking among Taiwanese Youths: Perpetuated by Conventional Public views and Transformed by Changing Social Values
Ling-Hui Hsu

To protect youths with mental distress, it is important to understand their help-seeking behaviors, explore potential help sources, and examine factors that deter them from seeking help, such as negative perceptions towards mental illness. In the current study, quantitative data was collected to examine mental illness stigma of Taiwanese college students. Students’ help-seeking behaviors were also assessed both quantitatively and qualitatively. A psychoeducational program on mental illness stigma reduction was implemented. The results showed that the participants had a moderately low level of mental illness stigma. The proposed intervention did not significantly reduce overall mental illness stigma. However, the intervention significantly decreased participants’ inclination to avoid people with mental illness. Generally, the participants scored moderate on willingness to seek help. The qualitative analysis indicated that although subscribing to the conventional stigmatizing belief of avoiding the mentally ill, Taiwanese youths have gradually abandoned the Chinese tradition of associating shame with counselling.

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