Young students' use of the internet for mental health information and support
Horgan, Aine M.
Sweeney, John F.
It is recognized that young people experience difficulties in accessing mainstream mental health services particularly because of the stigma that remains associated with mental health problems. One potential solution is to use the many websites available offering information and support for mental health problems, such support and information could be offered by Psychiatric Nurses. However, young peoples' usage and views on using the Internet for this purpose has yet to be examined. This quantitative descriptive study aimed to elicit the views of 922 University students, aged between 18 and 24 years, on using the Internet for mental health information and support. Data were collected using a 30-item self-designed questionnaire and analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings indicated that 72.4% of participants used the Internet several times a day. In addition, 30.8% had previously searched for mental health information online, predominantly on depression. While it was found that 68% of participants indicated that they would use the Internet for mental health support if they needed to, 79.4% would still prefer face to face support. It is concluded that young people are willing to use the Internet for mental health information and that it represents a viable source of support for this age group.
Information , Internet , Mental health , Online , Support , Young people
Horgan, A. and Sweeney, J. F. (2010) 'Young students' use of the internet for mental health information and support', Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 17(2), pp. 117-123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2850.2009.01497.x
© 2009 Blackwell Publishing. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Horgan, A. and Sweeney, J. F., Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 17: 117–123, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2850.2009.01497.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.