Predictors of University Students’ Intentions to Seek Psychological Counseling and Attitudes Toward Seeking Psychological Help
Background: Mental health problems are prevalent among university students worldwide. Studies have shown that most students do not disclose and do not get the psychological help and the support they need.
Objectives: The aim of this survey is to investigate the intentions to seek psychological counseling (ISC) among university students as well as their attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help (ATSPPH), and the predictorsof those intentions and attitudes.
Design and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a sample of 420 students at the American University of Beirut (AUB).
Results: Depression, test anxiety, and difficulty sleeping are the three main reasons for which students would seek psychological help. The source the students were most preferred to ask help was one’s family followed by psychologists and psychiatrists. Students’ ATSPPH is a positive predictor of their ISC, while students’ self-stigma of seeking help (SSOSH) is a negative predictor of the ATSPPH. Moreover, students’ awareness of the psychological help system available on campus, free of charge, is a positive predictor for both ISC and ATSPPH.
Conclusion: Different interventions are needed to enhance students’ mental health literacy and awareness of the available professional psychological help on campus.