How previously detained youths perceive “mental health” and “counseling”

James R. Brown, Evan D. Holloway, Erica Maurer, David G. Bruno, Gifty D. Ashirifi, Matthew Aalsma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study explored previously detained youths’ perceptions of the term “mental health” and related stigma. The study also examined how the youth see and compare “mental health” to “counseling” services. Qualitative interviews were conducted with an ethnically diverse, purposeful sample of 19 youth aged 11–17 who scored high on the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument (MAYSI-2) for mental health disorders. Our findings suggest that participants often found it difficult to disclose that they were receiving mental health services to non-primary friends. Overall, there were negative and inaccurate perceptions of mental health. Furthermore, this terminology was not easily understood and was associated with mental health stigma. Given this negative association with “mental health,” our results suggest that this term could represent, in and of itself, a significant barrier to accessing treatment that requires further investigation. These findings should prompt researchers, policy makers, and mental health professionals to evaluate alternative names or descriptions of mental health services to reduce both internal and external stigma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume102
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Counseling
counseling
Mental Health
mental health
Mental Health Services
Mental Health Associations
health service
Administrative Personnel
Terminology
Mental Disorders
Names
Research Personnel
Interviews
qualitative interview
health professionals
technical language
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

How previously detained youths perceive “mental health” and “counseling”. / Brown, James R.; Holloway, Evan D.; Maurer, Erica; Bruno, David G.; Ashirifi, Gifty D.; Aalsma, Matthew.

In: Children and Youth Services Review, Vol. 102, 01.07.2019, p. 27-33.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brown, James R. ; Holloway, Evan D. ; Maurer, Erica ; Bruno, David G. ; Ashirifi, Gifty D. ; Aalsma, Matthew. / How previously detained youths perceive “mental health” and “counseling”. In: Children and Youth Services Review. 2019 ; Vol. 102. pp. 27-33.
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