African American Women’s Mental Health Literacy and Attitudes Towards Seeking Mental Health Treatment

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Abstract Summary

Although African American women are burdened by mental illness, their use of mental health services is low (Matthews & Hughes, 2001). This project explores how black women’s identity relates to knowledge about mental health and shapes attitudes towards seeking mental health treatment. It is hypothesized that mental health literacy is positively associated with attitudes towards seeking mental health services. Spelman students were recruited to participate in an anonymous online survey. A Pearson’s Correlation was conducted to examine the relationship between mental health literacy and attitudes towards seeking mental health treatment. Each student completed the Mental Health Literacy Scale which measures knowledge about various aspects of mental health, and the Attitudes Towards Seeking Professional Help Scale which assesses feelings towards seeking out a mental health professional. The presentation will also discuss cultural mistrust as a  factor shaping attitudes towards mental health treatment.

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