The aim of this study was to investigate a psychological model on young people’s help-seeking behaviours. A quantitative cross sectional design was used with a sample of 185 adolescents (M=93, F=92) from one secondary school in Leinster (age range 13-17 years). Self-reported questionnaires were administered to measure gender differences and the effect of young people’s knowledge and understanding of mental health, their resilience, self-esteem and general health on help-seeking behaviours.
Regression and partial correlation analyses revealed the model to be a significant predictor in help seeking. Self-esteem was identified as a significant moderator between knowledge and a) understanding of mental health and help-seeking behaviours, and b) resilience and help-seeking behaviours. No gender differences in help-seeking were found.
A subsequent concern from the data was a clear absence of awareness among young people regarding youth mental health support services available to them, which further suggests that these services are not being used. Potential reasons as to why young people are and would not seek help were identified which include pride, lower or lack of self-esteem, shame and self-helping. Author keywords: Mental health literacy, psychological help-seeking, self-esteem, adolescents