Mental Health Literacy of Australian Rural Adolescents: An Analysis Using Vignettes and Short Films

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The mental health literacy (MHL) of rural adolescents has rarely been investigated. This study examined the MHL of 122 rural-based adolescents (49 males, 73 females) aged 12–18 years (M = 16, SD = 1) using written vignettes and short films to examine knowledge about depression. For the written vignettes, 68% of the rural adolescents were able to correctly identify someone with depression, which is similar to the findings for metropolitan adolescents; however, knowledge about recovery times and avenues of assistance were below that of their metropolitan peers. Participants were less likely to correctly diagnose depression when suicidal intent was not expressed and when the scenario was presented in the more naturalistic form of a film. This finding raises questions about the place of films and written vignettes in future MHL research.

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