Mental Health Literacy

Mental Health Literacy

Mental health literacy explains as “knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which help their acknowledgment, management or prevention. Mental health literacy includes the ability to recognize specific disorders; knowing how to seek mental health information; knowledge of risk factors and causes, of self-treatments, associated with professional help available; and attitudes that bolster recognition and appropriate help-seeking”. The concept of mental health literacy evolves from health literacy, which should increase patient knowledge about physical health, illnesses, and treatments.

Mental health literacy includes three major components: recognition, knowledge, and attitudes. A conceptual construction of mental health literacy illustrates the connections between components, and each is conceptualized as an area to target for description or intervention.

While some researchers have focused on a single component, others have focused on multiple and/or the connection between components. For example, a researcher may focus entirely on increasing recognition of disorders via an education program. Whereas another researcher may give attention to integrating all 3 components into one program.

Recognition : Mental Health Literacy

Recognition can be broken down into sign or illness recognition. Indicator recognition is the potential to discover beliefs, actions, and other physical manifestations of mental illness, without knowing explicitly which disorder they link to. Particular illness recognition is the ability to identify the presence of a disorder, such as major depressive disorders.

The recognition of the difference between knowledge and attitudes is a vital part of the mental health literacy framework. Although some efforts have focused on promoting knowledge, other research workers have argued that changing attitudes by reducing judgment is a more legendary way of making meaningful change in mental healthcare usage. Overall, both approaches have benefits for increasing results.


Knowledge is the most significant component of mental health literacy, and turns into four sub-components:

•Where/how to visit: the systems and systems individuals use to get information about mental disorders. This could include friends, family, educators, or broader sources, such as entertainment or social multimedia.

•Risk factors: what factors put individuals at very best risk for specific mental health disorders. Risk factors are biological, environmental.

•Causes of mental disorders

•Self-treatment or self-help: what individuals can do to help themselves recover without consulting with professionals, including the use of self-help books and media. Even though many selves- treatments are quite ineffective and even harmful due to insufficient knowledge.

•Professional help: where you can get professional help and/or what specialist is available.


Attitudes illustrate in two sub-components: attitudes about mental disorders, or folks with mental disorders, and attitudes about seeking professional help or treatment. Perceptions can vary greatly by individual, and can often be challenging to measure or target with intervention. Nevertheless, a sizable body of research literature exists on both sub-components, though not always explicitly tied to the mental health literacy.

Open public attitude 

Surveys of people have revealed in many countries to check out mental health literacy. These kinds of surveys show that acknowledgment of mental disorders is lacking and reveal negative beliefs about some standard psychiatric treatments, particularly medications. On the other palm, psychological, complementary and self-help methods illustrated much more positively. Negative thinking towards people who have mental disorders has been found, such as viewing them as having a weak personality. These beliefs and perceptions are potential barriers to seeking an optimal specialist and being supportive more.


Researchers have measured aspects of mental health literacy in several ways. Well-liked methodologies include vignette studies and achievement tests. Vignette studies measure mental health literacy by providing a brief, detailed story of an individual (or individuals) with a mental health issue, and asks participants questions to identify what problem the is experiencing, and at times, additional questions about how precisely the person can help themselves.

Achievement tests measure mental health literacy on a continuum, in a way that higher ratings on a test reveal greater overall knowledge or understanding of an idea. Achievement tests can illustrate using multiple-choice, true/false, or other quantitative machines.

Various scales have recently demarcated to measure the various components of mental health literacy, though not each is confirmed. Mental health literacy has revealed across several populations, varying in the time range, culture, and job. Most studies have centered on adult and young adult populations, though bettering literacy in children is a huge focus of prevention work.

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