The public's ability to recognize mental disorders and their beliefs about treatment: changes in Australia over 8 years
Article first published online: 5 DEC 2005
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 36–41, January 2006
How to Cite
Jorm, A. F., Christensen, H. and Griffiths, K. M. (2006), The public's ability to recognize mental disorders and their beliefs about treatment: changes in Australia over 8 years. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40: 36–41. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1614.2006.01738.x
- Issue published online: 5 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 5 DEC 2005
- Received 7 March 2005; accepted 20 March 2005.
- mental health literacy;
Objective: A national survey of Australian adults in 1995 showed a low level of recognition of mental disorders and beliefs about treatment that were often discordant with those of professionals. The present study aimed to find out whether recognition and treatment beliefs have changed over 8 years.
Method: A national survey of 2001 adults in 2003–2004 included the same questions as the 1995 survey. These interview questions were based on a vignette of a person with either depression or schizophrenia.
Results: Over the 8 years, the public showed better recognition of depression and schizophrenia and gave more positive ratings to a range of interventions, including help from mental health professionals, medications, psychotherapy and psychiatric ward admission.
Conclusions: The Australian public's beliefs have changed over 8 years to be more like those of mental health professionals. This change may have positive implications for help-seeking and treatment concordance.