Help-Seeking Stigma and Mental Health Treatment Seeking Among Young Adult Veterans

Published in: Military Behavioral Health, 2015

Posted on RAND.org on July 14, 2015

by Magdalena Kulesza, Eric R. Pedersen, Patrick W. Corrigan, Grant N. Marshall

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Veterans underutilize mental health services. We investigated the association between treatment-seeking stigma and utilization of mental health services in a sample of 812 young adult veterans. Higher perceived public stigma of treatment seeking was significantly related to lower treatment utilization. Although many veterans were concerned about negative perceptions if they were to seek treatment, a much smaller number of them endorsed that they would judge a fellow veteran negatively in similar situation. Targeting perceived public stigma of treatment seeking, through perceived norms interventions, might help narrow the gap between the need and receipt of help among veterans.

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