Mental health literacy in an educational elite -- an online survey among university students

Lauber, Christoph; Ajdacic-Gross, Vladeta; Fritschi, Nadja; Stulz, Niklaus; Rössler, Wulf
January 2005
BMC Public Health;2005, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p44
Academic Journal
Background: Mental health literacy is a prerequisite for early recognition and intervention in mental disorders. The aims of this paper are to determine whether a sample of university students recognise different symptoms of depression and schizophrenia and to reveal factors influencing correct recognition. Methods: Bivariate and correspondence analyses of the results from an online survey among university students (n = 225). Results: Most participants recognised the specific symptoms of depression. The symptoms of schizophrenia were acknowledged to a lower extent. Delusions of control and hallucinations of taste were not identified as symptoms of schizophrenia. Repeated revival of a trauma for depression and split personality for schizophrenia were frequently mistaken as symptoms of the respective disorders. Bivariate analyses demonstrated that previous interest in and a side job related to mental disorders, as well as previous personal treatment experience had a positive influence on symptom recognition. The correspondence analysis showed that male students of natural science, economics and philosophy are illiterate in recognising the symptoms depression and schizophrenia. Conclusion: Among the educational elite, a wide variability in mental health literacy was found. Therefore, it's important for public mental health interventions to focus on the different recognition rates in depression and schizophrenia. Possibilities for contact must be arranged according to interest and activity (e.g., at work). In order to improve mental health literacy, finally, education and/or internship should be integrated in high school or apprenticeship curricula. Special emphasis must be given towards the effects of gender and stereotypes held about mental illnesses.


Related Articles

  • Family management in the prevention of morbidity of schizophrenia: the adjustment of the family unit. Falloon, Ian R. H.; Pederson, Jean; Falloon, I R; Pederson, J // British Journal of Psychiatry;Jul85, Vol. 147, p156 

    Changes in the functioning of family members were assessed during a randomly controlled study of community management of schizophrenia. Eighteen families who completed two years community management based upon behavioural family therapy were compared with 18 families who received patient...

  • Biological antagonism and epileptic psychosis. Wolf, P.; Trimble, M.R. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Mar85, Vol. 146, p272 

    The controversial literature about the biological antagonism between schizophrenia and epilepsy involves at least two areas of clinical interest. Firstly, it is frequently stated that convulsive treatment was introduced into psychiatry for the management of psychosis because of this antagonism,...

  • HOW IS STIGMATIZATION AFFECTED BY THE "LAYERING" OF STIGMATIZED CONDITIONS, SUCH AS SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS AND HIV? Walkup, James; Cramer, Laura J.; Yeras, Jeddel // Psychological Reports;Dec2004 Part1, Vol. 95 Issue 3, p771 

    Vignettes were used to examine the effect of labeling a person with two stigmatized illnesses, HIV disease and serious mental illness (schizophrenia). The additive model predicted that stigma associated with combined HIV and serious mental illness would resemble the simple sum of those for the...

  • Abnormal intestinal permeability. An aetiological factor in chronic psychiatric disorders? Wood, N.C.; Hamilton, I.; Axon, A.T.R.; Khan, S.A.; Quirke, P.; Mindham, R.H.S.; McGuigan, K.; Axon, A T; Mindham, R H; Prison, H M // British Journal of Psychiatry;Jun87, Vol. 150, p853 

    Abnormal intestinal absorption has been suggested as an aetiological factor in schizophrenia. A procedure for investigating intestinal permeability was carried out in a group of chronic psychiatric in-patients. A proportion of the subjects studied showed abnormal intestinal permeability which...

  • Publication trends of papers on schizophrenia. Morlino, Massimo; Lisanti, Felice; Gogliettino, Angela; De Girolamo, Giovanni // British Journal of Psychiatry;Nov97, Vol. 171, p452 

    Background We assessed the publication trends of papers on schizophrenia through an analysis of the articles published by three general psychiatric journals (Archives of General Psychiatry (AGP), the British Journal of Psychiatry (BJP), and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry...


    To provide information on the construct validity of the Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help scale, relationships between prior treatment experiences and scores on the scale were evaluated. Participants were 270 students recruited from undergraduate psychology courses at a...

  • Status of first-episode psychosis patients presenting for routine care in a defined catchment area. Payne, Jennifer; Malla, Ashok; Norman, Ross; Windell, Deborah; Brown, Nicole; Nicole, Brown // Canadian Journal of Psychiatry;Jan2006, Vol. 51 Issue 1, p42 

    Objective: To examine the clinical and behavioural status of all first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients admitted to hospital within a defined catchment area.Method: We used a structured format to review clinical records of all first admissions to hospitals from a...

  • Interventions for Schizophrenia. Smith, Mike // Mental Health Practice;Jun2005, Vol. 8 Issue 9, p33 

    This article presents information related to the book "Interventions for Schizophrenia," by Emma Williams. This is an informative text whose purpose has obviously been to provide mental health workers with practical tools to help people diagnosed with schizophrenia. It is presented in a helpful...

  • Slowly progressive schizophrenia--myth or clinical reality? Smulevitch, A.B. // British Journal of Psychiatry;Aug89, Vol. 155, p166 

    The article comments on the study "Political Hazards in the Diagnosis of Slowly Progressive Schizophrenia" published in the March 1986 issue of the periodical. According to the authors the report's aim was to replace the scientific aspects of the problem with political ones and that it presented...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics