Purpose: The study aimed to determine the levels of psychological distress of university students and examine teachers’ awareness and opinions concerning suicide prevention. Methods: The study used a two-phase, sequential mixed-method approach of converging quantitative and qualitative methodologies. In the quantitative study the 1a2-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was used to measure psychological wellbeing in a student sample ( n=110 ). The qualitative study consisted of a focus group with students (n=200) and faculty members. (n=25). Results: The scores for the sample ranged between 0- 33 with a mean score of 10.25 (SD= 6.14). The majority of respondents (70.6%) endorsed low levels of psychological distress (i.e. scores ≤ 12). Nearly 12% reported increased current psychological distress (score 16-20). A small proportion of respondents (6.4%) reported currently experiencing severe psychological distress The overwhelming majority of teachers recognized the importance of mental health; however, they lacked the knowledge concerning how to appropriately address mental illness and stress related issues. Lack of awareness, negative attitude and stigma were identified as significant barriers to help-seeking among students. Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of psychiatric morbidity amongst the student in societies that are undergoing social and economic transition, such as the Indian society. The findings indicated that nearly 18% of the respondents showed an indication of increased risk for mental health problems such as depression. Teachers feel they are able to identify mental health issues; however, they are unable to offer any intervention. Expected Outcomes: These findings support the need to develop a curriculum for teachers that addresses mental health issues and offers training in intervention skills.
- Mental Health,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/amreshsrivastava/114/