| Published: December 08, 2021
Perceptions Surrounding Mental Health in Young People and their Primary Caregivers and its Influence on Help-Seeking Behaviour of Young People across Socio-Economic Groups in India
The treatment gap that exists between the need and access of mental health care facilities is concerning and demands further enquiry. This exploratory research study aims to better understand barriers in accessing mental health care facilities for young people across socio-economic groups in India through the following objectives: 1) To find out a young person’s understanding and perception of mental health. 2) To understand if the participant has any stigma and perception surrounding mental health and mental disorders. 3) To understand if the participant’s stigma, perception and understanding differs from that of their primary caregiver. 4) To understand the access and help-seeking behaviour of the participant to mental health care facilities and whether this is influenced by their own/primary caregiver’s perceptions. A mixed-methods analysis was carried out. The total sample size of this study is 66 which includes 33 young people as primary participants and 33 primary caregivers as secondary participants. Quantitative data collection was carried out via a form through snowball and purposive sampling. Three scales were included- Kuppuswamy socioeconomic Scale, Community Attitudes Toward the Mentally Ill Scale, and Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale (N=33). The CAMI Scale was administered to the primary caregivers (N=33) of the young people participants as well. The participants were divided into 2 groups based on their score in the Kuppuswamy Socioeconomic Scale, Upper/Upper Middle (N=18) and Lower/Lower Middle (N=15) This data was then analysed through SPSS using Kendall Tau’s correlation coefficient and independent sample t-test. Qualitative data was collected as a voluntary subset of the participants who filled out the quantitative data form though a focus group discussion. 2 focus groups (Upper/Upper Middle and Lower/Lower Middle) were interviewed through a semi-structured interview structure using an FGD Guide. This data was analysed using thematic analysis. The lowest and highest obtainable scores for the CAMI scale were 12 and 60 respectively. For the ATSPPH scale, these values were 0 and 30. The mean score for the young people CAMI was 45.09 (SD=6.94). When the same scale was administered to the primary caregivers, the mean was 42.24 (SD=8.00). For the ATSPPH scale, the mean score was 19.06 (SD=6.65). The findings from this study suggest that stigma isn’t the main barrier in help-seeking behaviour and that participants across socio-economic groups, without being influenced by the perceptions of their parents, have the desire to seek professional psychological help when experiencing mental distress. The problem lies in not knowing who to approach and in a lack of knowledge with regards to how to access available mental healthcare. The study also suggests that perceptions toward mental illness and the desire to seek professional psychological help do not vary significantly across upper/upper middle and lower/lower middle socioeconomic groups.
This is an Open Access Research distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any Medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
© 2021, Char S.
Received: October 31, 2021; Revision Received: November 28, 2021; Accepted: December 08, 2021
Published in Volume 09, Issue 4, October- December, 2021