With one in ten young people being affected by ill mental health and stigma regularly cited as a factor affecting access to early intervention services, focussing resources on school based stigma reduction strategies seems prudent. ‘Headucate’, a student society, designed a 50 minute workshop which aims to increase mental health literacy and decrease stigma.
Repeated, cross sectional surveys were carried out at three time points; 1) immediately before (n=77), 2) Immediately after (n=81) and 3) three months post workshop (n=73). The surveys were paper based versions of the Reported Intended Behaviours Score (RIBS) and Mental Health Knowledge Scale (MAKS) utilising a social distance scale.
Four year 10 classed (pupils aged 14-15) were recruited. Post hoc t-tests were carried out when one-way ANOVAS were significant.
Disorder knowledge (from MAKS) and intended contact (from RIBS) significantly increased between time points one and two (p<0.01 and <0.004 respectively) but then decreased.
Analysis of the question pertaining to knowing where to access help showed a statistically significant increase (p<0.001) between time points one and two and then a decrease at time three, albeit to a higher value than at time point one (3.45 compared to 3.13, P=0.088).
Headucate workshops offer a low resource option which is well accepted by students. Like other school based stigma reduction strategies, a dramatic increase was seen between immediately before and after indicating that the workshop resonates with the pupils, but there was little sustained change in attitudes.