A structural equation modeling of mental health literacy in healthcare students

Chia Min Lu, Yin Ju Lien*, Hsing Jung Chao, Hui Shin Lin, I. Chuan Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: There is a high prevalence of mental illness among healthcare students, and most students with mental health problems are reluctant to seek help from mental health professionals. Help-seeking is a component of mental health literacy (MHL). Although MHL is conceptualized as multi-dimensional, a theory-based multi-construct of MHL is still lacking. We aimed to build a theory-based multi-construct of MHL to explore the pathways of help-seeking. Methods: The data were obtained from a survey on MHL among healthcare students in 2018 (n = 1294). The Mental Health Literacy Scale for Healthcare Students was used to measure the maintenance of positive mental health, recognition of mental illness, mental illness stigma attitudes, help-seeking efficacy, and help-seeking attitudes. Descriptive analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM) were conducted. Results: The findings of the SEM model indicated recognition of mental illness had a positive direct effect on both help-seeking efficacy and maintenance of positive mental health. Additionally, help-seeking efficacy fully mediated the relationship between recognition of mental illness and help-seeking attitudes. Conclusion: Help-seeking efficacy plays a significant role in healthcare students’ willingness to seek professional help when mental health care is needed. Accordingly, improving help-seeking efficacy strategies would increase the use of mental health services and contribute to the prevention of mental health problems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13264
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1


  • Healthcare students
  • Help-seeking
  • Mental health literacy
  • Parallel mediation
  • Theory-based construct

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'A structural equation modeling of mental health literacy in healthcare students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this