This study looks at the role of various types of mental health stigma in people’s decisions to seek professional help for their psychological problems. Past research on this topic has shown stigma to be related to decision-making, but not made clear the mechanisms involved. To examine the role of stigma in people's reasons for choosing to seek or avoid psychological services, we created our own survey which asked about reasons for why people may not seek psychological help. Union students completed this survey, along with questionnaires regarding several types of stigmas regarding mental health and seeking professional psychological help, as well as measures of anxiety and depression.
We will analyze the data to examine the interrelation of kinds of mental health stigma, and their relation to other reasons for not seeking professional help. The present study will also look at if people who are suffering from a psychological disorder or problem have in the past or are currently seeking professional help and if they hold any mental health or help-seeking stigmas, as well as what other reasons they may have for not seeking help. Additionally, we will look at if gender has an influence on having different types of stigma, having a certain psychological disorder or problem, and if it impacts one’s decision to seek help or not. Lastly, the present will analyze if one’s major, class year, or amount of psychological courses they have taken influences their decisions to obtain professional help, if they have gotten help before or in the present, and if they have mental health or help-seeking stigmas.