Adolescents’ mental health, help seeking and service use and parents’ perception of family functioning
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNordic journal of nursing research. 2018, 1-8. 10.1177/2057158518764036
The adolescent population is facing mental-health challenges such as depression and anxiety. The aim of this study was to describe and investigate the mental health of adolescents, their relation to their parents, who they contact for help and their healthcare service use. A further objective was to describe and investigate family functioning in parents. A cross-sectional design was employed using register data from a survey of adolescents (n = 46,961), and surveys were conducted of two groups of parents – one group of parents with children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (n = 264) and one group of parents with school children (n = 157). Descriptive and comparative statistics were used. Of the adolescents, 5.65% were quite distressed. This group of adolescents would be less likely to seek help from friends and parents than the other adolescents. They were also more likely to use all types of healthcare services, and parents reported that they avoided discussing fears and concerns. School nurses are low-threshold professionals who can contribute in early support and interventions, providing service to all school pupils with an open-door policy. The use of family conversations focusing on strengths and resources may help the families to talk about difficult matters and highlight the resources in the family.