Mental Health Literacy Intervention for University Students (Transitions/ Kohti uutta)

Current status: Pilot completed in Finland

Outcomes include: Knowledge about mental health, attitudes towards mental health problems, stigma, help-seeking behavior, perceived stress and general health.

There are many barriers for seeking help in mental health care services, including lack of knowledge about and negative attitudes towards mental disorders and treatment, and poor access to appropriate care. Educational interventions on Mental Health Literacy (MHL) – understanding how to obtain and maintain good health, understanding mental disorders and their treatment, decreasing stigma and enhancing help-seeking behavior – are needed to promote good mental health.

First year at the university is a challenging phase at a young adult’s life. According to many studies, especially medical students have a high risk of stress-related problems, mental health problems, depression and anxiety due to demands of the studies and their future profession, posing a threat to their wellbeing.

Transitions/ Kohti uutta is an intervention study to evaluate how digitally delivered mental health literacy intervention changes mental health knowledge, attitudes and help-seeking behavior among first year medical students.

Next step: Cross-cultural study

Transitions program will be provided to 1st year medical students in Finland, Lithuania, Kenya, Indonesia and Japan. The changes in students’ mental health awareness, attitudes and help seeking behavior will be compared in an international context after provision of the Transitions mental health literacy program.