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How does the British public understand mental health? A qualitative analysis of open-text responses

Arnot, M; Wolpert, M; Greenwood, E; (2021) How does the British public understand mental health? A qualitative analysis of open-text responses. International Journal of Social Psychiatry 10.1177/00207640211052174. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: An individual's understanding of mental health can influence their attitudes towards those experiencing mental health problems, and also impact their response to any mental health problems they experience. However, what the lay public understand about mental health is not well explored in existing research. AIMS: This study aims to gain a deeper insight into what the general public understand by the term 'mental health problem'. METHODS: Data were taken from a large-scale representative sample of adults from Great Britain (n = 2,708). A thematic analysis was carried out on an open-text question which asked people what they understood by the term 'mental health problem'. RESULTS: Six themes were identified in the thematic analysis, which included understanding mental health through thinking about cause and effect, thinking about the location of mental health problems in the body, the universality and variation of mental health problems, reflections on lived experience and identifying a specific mental health problem. CONCLUSION: The analysis suggests that there are many diverse ways the public conceptualises mental health. The themes identified may be useful for future quantitative analyses, and also may suggest how information about mental health can be best communicated to the public.

Type: Article
Title: How does the British public understand mental health? A qualitative analysis of open-text responses
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/00207640211052174
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/00207640211052174
Language: English
Additional information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage)
Keywords: Mental health, lay, qualitative, understanding
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10137648
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