What predicts mental health literacy among school teachers?
Objectives: The present study aimed at assessing high school teachers’ mental health literacy (MHL) and predictors related to study outcomes.
Design: Cross-sectional study
Methods: We employed 460 high school teachers who engaged with adolescents for at least six hours per week with a minimum of five years of teaching experience in southern India. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to assess their MHL. Descriptive analysis and backward logistic regression analysis were performed. A p-value < 0.05 was set as significant.
Results: Teachers’ MHL on depression was less than desirable; however, they identified 288 (62.6%) adolescents with mental health problems during their career, and 172(59.72%) were referred to mental health professionals. On logistic regression analysis, teachers’ educational status, their marital status, teaching a class with an average strength of 31-60 students per class, previous mental health training and having self-efficacy concerning seeking information
on mental health, perceived ability to spread awareness and to provide referrals were found to predict MHL among teachers.
Conclusion: Sociodemographic factors including teachers’ educational status, average class strength and having had previous mental health training were predictors for MHL among high school teachers. Establishing training programs and referral networks may be key in early intervention among adolescents.
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