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Revista Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental

Print version ISSN 1647-2160

Abstract

ROSA, Amorim; LOUREIRO, Luís  and  SEQUEIRA, Carlos. Mental health literacy on depression: A study with Portuguese adolescents. Revista Portuguesa de Enfermagem de Saúde Mental [online]. 2019, n.21, pp.40-46. ISSN 1647-2160.  http://dx.doi.org/10.19131/rpesm.0236.

BACKGROUND: All around the world, it is estimated that 10% to 20% of adolescents experience mental health problems. This susceptibility is associated with a strong reluctance and delays in professional help seeking. Depression represents a global health problem, and one of the leading causes of burden of disease worldwide. Adolescence is a critical period for the onset of depression, and it is also relevant that adolescents are the group that uses health services less frequently, even in situation of severe mental illness, that require specialized help. AIM: Characterize mental health literacy on depression in adolescents. METHODS: Exploratory descriptive study. The MentaHLiS-Depression was applied to a sample of 251 adolescents (142 girls and 109 boys), aged between 10 and 18 years (M=14.31 ± 2.18), attending schools in the 2nd and 3rd cycle and secondary education in Coimbra. The appropriate summary statistics and the absolute and percentage frequencies were calculated. RESULTS: 33.5% of the participants did not recognize the problem presented in the vignette. In the other components, literacy levels are modest, with preference for informal sources of help and option for social support and passive referral, as firs aid strategies for mental health problems. CONCLUSION: Significant deficits were found in some components of depression literacy in adolescents, requiring intervention in this area.

Keywords : Health literacy; Mental health; Adolescents; Depression.

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