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Chew, Chelsea Liang Ru
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The aim of this study was to explore the attitudes and intentions towards seeking mental health services of Asian university students in an Asian country. While there are many studies on help-seeking among international students in Western countries, there is insufficient knowledge on mental help-seeking among Asian students in an Asian context. In particular, it was hoped that the findings would shed light on the mental health gap among university students in Singapore, whereby available mental health services are not being accessed by students who need them.

67 students from the National Institute of Education, Singapore were surveyed in this study; 32 international students from China, and 35 Singaporean Chinese students. Of these, 36 students responded to the follow-up interview questions on help-seeking attitudes. A combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses was used to analyze the data. Nine variables were surfaced from a preliminary analysis of the data.

Both the local and international students were found to face difficulties in the university setting, however, the international students reported additional challenges that accompany being in a foreign land. Despite this, most of them are not utilizing the mental health care available to them, and have poor awareness of mental health and its services.

The local students were found to view psychological health as more important and be more open to seeking psychological services than the international students. Mental health literacy, confidence in expertise of mental health professionals, and independent coping were found to affect psychological help-seeking.

In addition, factors unique to this population were surfaced that aid in understanding why they are reluctant to and wary of accessing and utilizing mental health services. Participants also shared reasons they would or would not refer friends for mental health services.

The practical implications, limitations and possibilities for future research have also been discussed.
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HM1141 Rag
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Appears in Collections:Master of Arts (Applied Psychology)

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