From Whom Do Student Veterans Seek Help?: Understanding the Roles of Professional, Informal, and Religious Sources

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Abstract

The purpose of this brief report was to ascertain student veterans' patterns of help-seeking from professional, informal, and religious sources. In total, 350 veterans from an academic institution on the Gulf Coast completed assessments of help-seeking intentions from a range of potential sources in their communities. Analyses revealed that veterans had a neutral probability to seek help from professional sources (e.g., physicians and psychologists) but were likely to pursue informal sources (e.g., partner/spouse, friend) in a psychological/emotional crisis. However, when compared with their nonclinical counterparts, veterans with a probable need for treatment for PTSD and/or depression generally reported less probability to seek help from informal and religious sources. In addition, sex, ethnicity, and religious background each contributed a significant influence in shaping preferences for seeking help for psychological or emotional concerns. Given unmet mental health needs of student veterans, findings highlight the importance attending to help-seeking preferences in this growing population.

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