OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore and identify facilitators and barriers to help-seeking behaviours among adolescents in Oman, by exploring the relationship between knowledge, attitude, and behaviour towards mental health help-seeking.
METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study was used and 424 adolescents were recruited to participate in the study. Participants were asked to complete five self-reported questionnaires, including two open-ended questions about the main motivations and barriers to seeking professional help for mental problems.
RESULTS: It was found that those with positive help-seeking attitudes towards mental health were more knowledgeable about mental health, had more positive attitudes towards mental illness, and had higher intention to help seeking. On the contrary, those with higher help-seeker stereotypes had more negative attitudes towards mental illness. Having an adequate support system, being positive and knowledgeable about mental illness, and the reputation of mental health are the main factors facilitating seeking professional help. However, fear, lack of family support, and the time-consuming procedures were the main barriers emerging from the open-ended questions.
CONCLUSIONS: This study contributes by identifying facilitating factors as well as barriers in an Arabic context (Oman) to fill the exiting knowledge gap; both need to be considered when planning interventions targeting the younger individuals in this society.