First aid actions taken by young people for mental health problems in a close friend or family member: findings from an Australian national survey of youth

Marie Bee Hui Yap, Annemarie Wright, Anthony Francis Jorm
Psychiatry Research 2011 June 30, 188 (1): 123-8
This study examined the first aid actions taken by young people to help someone they know and care about who was experiencing a mental health problem and the characteristics of the first aid provider (respondent) and recipient which influence these first aid actions. Participants in a national survey of Australian youth (aged 12-25 years) completed a two-year follow-up phone interview based on one of the following disorders in vignettes: depression, depression with alcohol misuse, social phobia and psychosis. Participants were asked if they knew a family member or close friend who had experienced a similar problem to the vignette character since the initial interview and those who did reported on any actions taken to help the person. Of the 2005 participants interviewed, 609 (30%) reported knowing someone with a similar problem, with depression (with or without alcohol misuse) being the most common problem. Respondent age and gender, recipient gender, and type of mental health problem, all influenced first aid actions. Findings indicate that peers are a major source of support for young people with mental health problems and underscore some important areas and subgroups of young people to target for interventions to improve young people's mental health first aid skills.


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