Main Article Content
Background: Mental health awareness surveys that assess the broad knowledge of various stakeholders including public nationwide help in the development of relevant strategies to enhance their poor mental health literacy.
Objective: The aim of this telephone polling survey was to measure mental health awareness of general public in Saudi Arabia.
Method: The participants (n=1068) randomly selected from 13 regions of Saudi Arabia were contacted by 15 trained Saudi girl interviewers for conducting 30-minutes individual interview in Arabic language using a self-designed 15-item questionnaire.
Results: About one fourth of responders (23%) reported either personal or family member having mental disorder, and depression and anxiety disorders were the commonest problems. Stigma against mental disorders and consulting health professionals, misperceptions towards psychotropics and social exclusion and shame were variably reported by the participants. Though the participants perceived barriers to have access to MH services, 55% of responders reported MH services were of good to excellent grade, and the two most common help-seeking modes were psychiatric and religious and spiritual service providers.
Conclusion: Although this community participatory mental health polling survey is found to have encouraging mental health literacy of public participants, evidence based training programs and campaigns for further improving people mental health literacy are needed in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Arabian Gulf countries.
Wahlbeck K. Public mental health: the time is ripe for translation of evidence into practice. World Psychiatry. 2015;14(1):36-42.
Qureshi NA, Van der Molen HT, Schmidt HG, Magzoub MA. General practitioners’ pre- and post-training psychiatric knowledge and attitude towards psychiatry. Neurosciences Journal. 2004;9:287-294.
Qureshi NA, Van der Molen HT, Schmidt HG, Magzoub MA. Effectiveness of training programmes directed at general practitioners for enhancing their psychiatric knowledge. Education Health Journal. 2006;19:52-60.
Jorm AF. Mental health literacy: Public knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders. The British Journal Psychiatry. 2000;177(5):396-401.
Jorm AF. Mental health literacy: Empowering the community to take action for better mental health. American Psychologist. 2012;67(3):231-243.
Kelly CM, Jorm AF, Wright A. Improving mental health literacy as a strategy to facilitate early intervention for mental disorders. Medical Journal Australia. 2007; 187(S7):S26-30.
Wickstead R, Furnham A. Comparing mental health literacy and physical health (PH) literacy: An exploratory study. Journal Mental Health. 2017;26(5):449-456.
Vimalanathan A, Furnham A. Comparing physical and mental health literacy. Journal Mental Health. 2019;28(3):243-248.
Lloyd-Evans B, Sweeney A, Hinton M, Morant N, Pilling S, Leibowitz J, et al. Evaluation of a community awareness programme to reduce delays in referrals to early intervention services and enhance early detection of psychosis. BMC Psychiatry. 2015;15(1):98.
De Girolamo G, Dagani J, Purcell R, Cocchi A, McGorry PD. Age of onset of mental disorders and use of mental health services: Needs, opportunities and obstacles. Epidemiology Psychiatric Sciences. 2012;21(1):47-57.
Reardon T, Harvey K, Baranowska M, O’Brien D, Smith L, Creswell C. What do parents perceive are the barriers and facilitators to accessing psychological treatment for mental health problems in children and adolescents? A systematic review of qualitative and quantitative studies. European Child Adolescent Psychiatry. 2017;26(6):623-647.
Eaton J, McCay L, Semrau M, Chatterjee S, Baingana F, Araya R, Ntulo C, Thornicroft G, Saxena S. Scale up of services for mental health in low-income and middle-income countries. The Lancet. 2011;378(9802):1592-1603.
Quinn N, Knifton L. Promoting recovery and addressing stigma: Mental health awareness through community development in a low-income area. International Journal Mental Health Promotion. 2005;7(4):37-44.
Clement S, Schauman O, Graham T, Maggioni F, Evans-Lacko S, Bezborodovs N, Morgan C, Rüsch N, Brown JS, Thornicroft G. What is the impact of mental health-related stigma on help-seeking? A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies. Psychological Medicine. 2015;45(1):11-27.
Patel V, Flisher AJ, Hetrick S, McGorry P. Mental health of young people: A global public-health challenge. The Lancet. 2007; 369(9569):1302-1313.
Arikan K, Uysal O, Cetin G. Public awareness of the effectiveness of psychiatric treatment may reduce stigma. The Israel Journal Psychiatry Related Sciences.1999;36(2):95.
Buist A, Bilszta J, Milgrom J, Barnett B, Hayes B, Austin MP. Health professional's knowledge and awareness of perinatal depression: Results of a national survey. Women Birth. 2006;19(1):11-16.
Naqvi HA, Sabzwari S, Hussain S, Islam M, Zaman M. General practitioners' awareness and management of common psychiatric disorders: a community-based survey from Karachi, Pakistan. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. 2012; 18(5):446-453.
Dobmeier RA, Kalkbrenner MT, Hill TL, Hernández TJ. Residential community college student awareness of mental health problems and resources. New York Journal Student Affairs. 2013;13(2):15- 28.
Hyun J, Quinn B, Madon T, Lustig S. Mental health need, awareness, and use of counseling services among international graduate students. Journal American College Health. 2007;56(2):109-18.
Stoner L, Page R, Matheson A, Tarrant M, Stoner K, Rubin D, Perry L. The Indigenous health gap: Raising awareness and changing attitudes. Perspectives Public Health. 2015;135(2):68-70.
Smartt C, Prince M, Frissa S, Eaton J, Fekadu A, Hanlon C. Homelessness and severe mental illness in low-and middle-income countries: scoping review. British Journal Psychiatry Open. 2019;5(4).
Jorm AF, Korten AE, Jacomb PA, Christensen H, Henderson S. Attitudes towards people with a mental disorder: A survey of the Australian public and health professionals. Australian New Zealand Journal Psychiatry.1999;33(1):77-83.
Kermode M, Bowen K, Arole S, Joag K, Jorm AF. Community beliefs about treatments and outcomes of mental disorders: a mental health literacy survey in a rural area of Maharashtra, India. Public Health. 2009;123(7):476-483.
Lu SJ, Liou TH, Yen CF, Chang FH, Chen YL, Escorpizo R, Strauser DR, Pan AW. Determinants of employment outcome for the people with schizophrenia using the WHODAS 2.0. Journal Occupational Rehabilitation. 2019;29(2):375-383.
Stone EM, Chen LN, Daumit GL, Linden S, McGinty EE. General Medical Clinicians’ Attitudes toward People with Serious Mental Illness: A Scoping Review. The Journal Behavioral Health Services Research. 2019:1-24.
Hickie IB, Luscombe GM, Davenport TA, Burns JM, Highet NJ. Perspectives of young people on depression: Awareness, experiences, attitudes and treatment preferences. Early Intervention Psychiatry. 2007;1(4):333-339.
Sealy PA, Fraser J, Simpson JP, Evans M, Hartford A. Community awareness of postpartum depression. Journal Obstetric, Gynecologic Neonatal Nursing. 2009; 38(2):121-133.
Alosaimi FD, AlAteeq DA, Bin Hussain SI, Alhenaki RS, Bin Salamah AA, AlModihesh NA. Public Awareness, Beliefs, and Attitudes toward Bipolar Disorder in Saudi Arabia. Neuropsychiatric Disease Treatment. 2019;15:2809-2818.
Stubbs B, Koyanagi A, Hallgren M, Firth J, Richards J, Schuch F, Rosenbaum S, Mugisha J, Veronese N, Lahti J, Vancampfort D. Physical activity and anxiety: a perspective from the World Health Survey. Journal Affective Disorders. 2017;208:545-552.
Alonso J, Liu Z, Evans‐Lacko S, Sadikova E, Sampson N, Chatterji S, Abdulmalik J, Aguilar‐Gaxiola S, Al‐Hamzawi A, Andrade LH, Bruffaerts R. Treatment gap for anxiety disorders is global: Results of the World Mental Health Surveys in 21 countries. Depression Anxiety. 2018;35(3):195-208.
Li X, Fang W, Su N, Liu Y, Xiao S, Xiao Z. Survey in Shanghai communities: The public awareness of and attitude towards dementia. Psychogeriatrics. 2011;11(2): 83-89.
Zanjani F, Kruger T, Murray D. Evaluation of the Mental Healthiness Aging Initiative: Community program to promote awareness about mental health and aging issues. Community Mental Health Journal. 2012;48(2):193-201.
Beigel A, McCabe TR, Tamerin JS, Lowery MJ, Chapin EH, Hunter EJ. Planning for the development of comprehensive community alcoholism services: II. Assessing community awareness and attitudes. American Journal Psychiatry. 1974;131(10):1116-21.
Sharma MK, Rao GN, Benegal V, Thennarasu K, Thomas D. Technology addiction survey: An emerging concern for raising awareness and promotion of healthy use of technology. Indian Journal Psychological Medicine. 2017;39(4):495.
ten Have M, Verheul R, Kaasenbrood A, van Dorsselaer S, Tuith of M, Kleinjan M, de Graaf R. Prevalence rates of borderline personality disorder symptoms: a study based on the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2. BMC Psychiatry. 2016;16(1):249.
Hoven CW, Doan T, Musa GJ, Jaliashvili T, Duarte CS, Ovuga E, Ismayilov F, Rohde LA, Dmitrieva T, Du Y, Yeghiyan M. Worldwide child and adolescent mental health begins with awareness: A preliminary assessment in nine countries. International Review Psychiatry. 2008; 20(3):261-270.
Hoven CW, Wasserman D, Wasserman C, Mandell DJ. Awareness in nine countries: A public health approach to suicide prevention. Legal Medicine. 2009;11:S13-17.
Todahl J, Barkhurst PD, Watford K, Gau JM. Child abuse and neglect prevention: a survey of public opinion toward community-based change. Journal Public Child Welfare. 2019:1-9.
Blumenfield M, Suojanen JK, Weiss C. Public awareness about the connection between depression and physical health: specifically heart disease. Psychiatric Quarterly. 2012;83(3):259-269.
Batterham PJ, Calear AL, Christensen H. Correlates of suicide stigma and suicide literacy in the community. Suicide and Life‐Threatening Behavior. 2013;43(4): 406-417.
Jorm AF. Australian young people's awareness of headspace, beyondblue and other mental health organizations. Australasian Psychiatry. 2009;17(6):472-474.
Jorm AF, Christensen H, Griffiths KM. Changes in depression awareness and attitudes in Australia: The impact of beyondblue: The national depression initiative. Australian New Zealand Journal Psychiatry. 2006;40(1):42-46.
Costello H, Bouras N, Davis H. The role of training in improving community care staff awareness of mental health problems in people with intellectual disabilities. Journal Applied Research Intellectual Disabilities. 2007;20(3):228-235.
Kim JA, Ha KH, Hong HJ, Kim HY. 2013 Students' mental health school-community cooperative model: management of high risk students and change in awareness of mental health in school. Journal Korean Academy Child Adolescents Psychiatry. 2015;26(2):94.
Phillipson L, Hall D, Cridland E, Fleming R, Brennan-Horley C, Guggisberg N, Frost D, Hasan H. Involvement of people with dementia in raising awareness and changing attitudes in a dementia friendly community pilot project. Dementia. 2019; 18(7-8):2679-2694.
Mcluckie A, Kutcher S, Wei Y, Weaver C. Sustained improvements in students’ mental health literacy with use of a mental health curriculum in Canadian schools. BMC Psychiatry. 2014;14(1):379.
Guerra LA, Rajan S, Roberts KJ. The implementation of mental health policies and practices in schools: An examination of school and state factors. Journal School Health. 2019;89(4):328-338.
El-Amin T, Anderson BL, Leider JP, Satorius J, Knudson A. Enhancing mental health literacy in rural America: Growth of Mental Health First Aid program in rural communities in the United States from 2008–2016. Journal Rural Mental Health. 2018;42(1):20-31.
Gayed A, Bryan BT, Petrie K, Deady M, Milner A, LaMontagne AD, Calvo RA, Mackinnon A, Christensen H, Mykletun A, Glozier N. A protocol for the HeadCoach trial: the development and evaluation of an online mental health training program for workplace managers. BMC Psychiatry. 2018;18(1):25.
Goetzel RZ, Roemer EC, Holingue C, Fallin MD, McCleary K, Eaton W, Agnew J, Azocar F, Ballard D, Bartlett J, Braga M. et al. Mental health in the workplace: A call to action proceedings from the mental health in the workplace: Public health summit. Journal Occupational Environmental Medicine. 2018;60(4):322.
Mahmoud MA. Knowledge and Awareness Regarding Mental Health and Barriers to Seeking Psychiatric Consultation in Saudi Arabia. Asian Journal Pharmaceutical Research and Health Care. 2019;10(4): 109-16.
Cohn D. Sample Surveys and the Census; 1940.
Taherdoost H. Determining sample size; How to calculate survey sample size. International Journal Economics Management Systems. 2017;2:237-239.
Mathers N, Fox N, Hunn A. Surveys and questionnaires. The NIHR RDs for the East Midlands/Yorkshire the Humber; 2007.
Boynton PM, Greenhalgh T. Hands-on guide to questionnaire research. British Medical Journal. 2004;328(7451):1312-1315.
Doyle L, Brady A-M, Byrne G. An overview of mixed method research. Journal Research Nursing. 2009;14(2):175-185.
Pew Research Center.
Available:https://www.pewresearch.org/Accessed on October 9, 2019.
Gustavson K, Knudsen AK, Nesvåg R, Knudsen GP, Vollset SE, Reichborn-Kjennerud T. Prevalence and stability of mental disorders among young adults: Findings from a longitudinal study. BMC Psychiatry. 2018;18(1):65.
Jacobi F, Höfler M, Strehle J, Mack S, Gerschler A, Scholl L, et al. Twelve-months prevalence of mental disorders in the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Adults–Mental Health Module (DEGS1-MH): A methodological addendum and correction. International Journal Methods Psychiatric Research. 2015;24(4):305-313.
Ahmadvand A, Sepehrmanesh Z, Ghoreishi FS, Afshinmajd S. Prevalence of psychiatric disorders in the general population of Kashan, Iran. Archives Iranian Medicine. 2012;15(4):205.
MacDonald K, Fainman-Adelman N, Anderson KK, Iyer SN. Pathways to mental health services for young people: A systematic review. Social Psychiatry Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2018;53(10): 1005-1038.
Wolitzky-Taylor K, Chung B, Bearman SK, Arch J, Grossman J, Fenwick K, Lengnick-Hall R, Miranda J. Stakeholder perceptions of the barriers to receiving and delivering exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety disorders in adult community mental health settings. Community Mental Health Journal. 2019; 55(1):83-99.
Awaad R. A Journey of Mutual Growth: Mental Health Awareness in the Muslim Community. In: Roberts L., Reicherter D., Adelsheim S., Joshi S. (eds) Partnerships for Mental Health. Springer, Cham; 2015.
Qureshi NA, Asim Abdulmoneim, Saud M. Alsanad. Spiritual and religious healing practices: Some reflection from National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Riyadh. Journal Religion Health. 2018:1-25.
Schomerus G, Angermeyer MC. Stigma and its impact on help-seeking for mental disorders: What do we know? Epidemiology Psychiatric Sciences. 2008; 17(1):31-37
Mo PK, Mak WW. Help-seeking for mental health problems among Chinese. Social Psychiatry Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2009; 44(8):675-84.
Halsall T, Garinger C, Dixon K, Forneris T. Evaluation of a social media strategy to promote mental health literacy and help-seeking in youth. Journal Consumer Health Internet. 2019; 23(1):13-38.
Kilbourne AM, Beck K, Spaeth-Rublee B, Ramanuj P, O'Brien RW, Tomoyasu N, Pincus HA. Measuring and improving the quality of mental health care: A global perspective. World Psychiatry. 2018; 17(1):30-38.
Clancy R, Lewin TJ, Bowman JA, Kelly BJ, Mullen AD, Flanagan K, Hazelton MJ. Providing physical health care for people accessing mental health services: Clinicians’ perceptions of their role. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. 2019;28(1):256-267.
Flores EJ, Park ER, Irwin KE. Improving lung cancer screening access for individuals with serious mental illness. Journal of the American College of Radiology. 2019;16(4):596-600.
Rickwood D, Paraskakis M, Quin D, Hobbs N, Ryall V, Trethowan J, McGorry P. Australia's innovation in youth mental health care: The headspace centre model. Early Intervention in Psychiatry. 2019; 13(1):159-166.
Pantic I. Online social networking and mental health. Cyberpsychology Behavior Social Networking. 2014;17(10):652-657.
Yoon S, Kleinman M, Mertz J, Brannick M.Is social network site usage related to depression? A meta-analysis of Facebook-depression relations. Journal Affective Disorder. 2019;248:65-72.
Baik C, Larcombe W, Brooker A. How universities can enhance student mental wellbeing: the student perspective. Higher Education Research Development. 2019; 38(4):674-687.
Venkataraman S, Patil R, Balasundaram S. Why mental health literacy still matters: A review. International Journal Community Medicine Public Health. 2019;6(6):2723-2729.
Huang D, Yang LH, Pescosolido BA. Understanding the public’s profile of mental health literacy in China: A nationwide study. BMC Psychiatry. 2019; 19(1):20.