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J Adolesc. 2011 Aug;34(4):685-93. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.09.004. Epub 2010 Oct 16.

Trust, autonomy and relationships: the help-seeking preferences of young people in secondary level schools in London (UK).

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Research Department, Barnet, Enfield & Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust, St Ann's Road, London N15 3TH, UK.


Help-seeking among young people is complicated, often determined vicariously by the ability of adults, family or professionals, to recognize, and respond to, their difficulties. We know very little about the complex concerns of teenage young people and how they impact on help-seeking preferences. We aimed to ascertain the help-seeking preferences for a range of mental health problems among adolescents attending schools in an inner-city area of London. In particular we sought to examine the relationship between such adolescents and their family doctor. Using a mixed methods approach we explored help-seeking attitudes of young people. Emotional and mental health problems are not seen by young people as the domain of General practitioners. Moreover, there is a worrying lack of confidence and trust placed in family doctor and other professionals by young people. Young people do not tend easily to trust adults to help them with emotional difficulties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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