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Journal Article


Shi W, Hall BJ. Eur. J. Psychotraumatol. 2020; 11(1): e1761621.


(Copyright © 2020, The Author(s), Publisher Co-action Publishing)




32922685 PMCID


BACKGROUND: Direct exposure to natural disasters is associated with increased mental disorders. Help-seeking behaviour among Chinese adults is low and the barriers and facilitators of help-seeking among Chinese adults exposed to natural disasters is understudied.

Objective: Using a person-centred approach, this study describes help-seeking preferences and their correlates in a sample of Chinese college students after experiencing Typhoon Hato, the strongest storm to affect Macao, China in the past 50 years.

Method: The baseline sample was collected one month following exposure to the Typhoon (September 2017). Six months following the baseline study (April, 2018), a total of 815 students (females = 71.5%) completed follow-up and were included in the data analysis. Latent Class Analysis (LCA) and Multinomial Logistic Regression were used to analyse the data via Mplus 7.4 and Stata 15.0.

Results: Three latent classes of help-seeking preferences were identified in this study, including: 'mental health professionals and close people' (MHPCP, 52%), non-seekers (31%), and 'multiple sources' (17%). The results of multinomial logistic regression showed that region of origin (mainland versus Macao, China), self-stigma, perceived helpfulness of professional mental health help, previous professional help-seeking behaviour, and perceived social support, were significantly associated with MHPCP help-seeking preferences.

Conclusion: A large proportion of students preferred to seek support from loved ones and professionals. However, over 30% of the sample preferred not seeking help for mental health concerns. Further research is needed to enhance mental health treatment seeking preferences among Chinese college students.

Language: en


PTSD; natural disaster; Mental health; Chinese students


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