Young people include those from 12–24 years of age.1 While health and wellbeing reports often cover only part of this age range, it is very clear that young people have high rates of mental disorders. The child and adolescent component of a national health and welfare survey (2000)2 found that 14% of adolescents (aged 13–17 years) had a mental health disorder (most common were anxiety and substance and alcohol misuse). Over one-quarter of adolescents with a mental health disorder also had a physical health problem.2 In 2008, The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that for the age range 15–24 years (constituting approximately 18% of the population), mental health disorders accounted for 61% of the nonfatal burden of disease.1
This study aimed to explore young
people’s experiences and perspectives
on seeking and accessing help for
mental health using traditional as well
as electronic means.
Three focus groups of young people
aged 13–26 years who were members
of community groups, explored issues
guided by a series of questions.
Using interpretive phenomenological
analysis of the transcripts, three
- Young people’s perceptions of mental health problems in themselves and their peers
- Young people’s experiences of help and the importance of trust
- Young people’s perceptions of e-help and concerns about trust.
Participants appeared to have a good
sense of when help is needed and
how they wanted to be helped for
mental health problems. However,
participants described many negative
experiences, particularly restricted
access to help and breaches of trust.
There were concerns about privacy
and confidentiality with e-help, as well
as a general distrust and fear of harm
in seeking help.
Download the PDF for the full article.