Post 2: scholarly sources /mental health

Sunny Lai

Crowe, A., Averett, P. & Scott Glass, J. 2015, ‘Mental illness stigma, psychological resilience, and help seeking: What are the relationships?’, Mental Health & Prevention, vol. 4, pp. 63-68.

In this article, the authors discuss three aspects related to mental health, and the relationships between these aspects: stigma, psychological resilience, and help seeking. Stigma is defined as a mixture of stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination faced by people; psychological resilience refers to a positive ability to adapt to changes and adversity, as well as recover from challenges. This article is a report on a study conducted by the authors in which they aimed to determine the relationship between mental illness stigma and psychological resilience. The third factor of help seeking was included when the authors discovered that their participants had spontaneously identified help seeking as an important factor that influenced and was influenced by the other two.

The study involved a series of focus groups held with seventeen participants, the majority of whom had prior experience with mental illness and had sought treatment for it. The authors concluded that: stigma increases resilience, while resilience decreases stigma; help seeking may lead to stigma and perceived less resilience; help seeking can also lead to increased resilience and decreased stigma; stigma leads to not seeking help and decreases resilience.

Wolf, M., Kraft, S., Tschauner, K., Bauer, S., Becker, T. & Puschner, B. 2016, ‘User activity in a mobile phone intervention to assist mindfulness exercises in people with depressive symptoms’, Mental Health & Prevention, vol. 4, pp. 57-62.

This article describes a study conducted by the authors to observe user activity in a mobile phone intervention. The intervention was meant to assist mindfulness exercises in people with depressive symptoms. Each person was recommended a series of mindfulness exercises, and instructed to send a text message whenever they completed one of the exercises. They would receive a reply containing a brief, supportive message that was positively reinforcing, and would also receive reminders if they hadn’t sent messages for certain amounts of time. This program lasted four months.

The authors aimed to determine how actively the users participated in the program, whether there was any correlation between participant characteristics (e.g. age, gender, prior experience with mindfulness, etc.) and user engagement, and if text messaging activity affected outcome.

The results were highly varied in regards to participation. Several correlations were drawn, for example: older applicants sent more messages than younger applicants; those with prior experience with mindfulness practice were more likely to send messages.

The authors conclude that mobile phone interventions can be effective, but many factors must be carefully implemented. They suggest that the number of reminders and supporting messages should be increased, and that the program should be made more flexible to use.