Investigating the Characteristics of Canadian Armed Forces Help-Seekers, Non-Help Seekers, and No Mental Health Need Groups: A Population-Based Analysis

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Wood, Valerie
Linden, Brooke
Tam-Seto, Linna
Stuart, Heather
Canadian Armed Forces Mental Health , Canadian Forces Mental Health , Help-seeking , Mental Health Stigma , Military Mental Health
This secondary analysis compared three groups of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members in their demographics and attitudes toward mental health care: those with a need who have sought help (help-seekers), those with a need who have not sought help (non-help seekers) and those with no current need (no-need). Methods: Data from the 2013 Canadian Forces Mental Health Survey, which included responses from 6,996 Regular Force and 1,469 Reserve Force members, was used. Several variables were applied to classify members according to mental health need and help-seeking status. Results: The three groups had distinct demographic profiles. In addition, results from a discriminant function analysis indicated group differences in attitudes toward mental health care. Help-seekers reported more negative attitudes toward acquiring mental health care for reasons that relate to stigma and career implications, while non-help seekers reported more negative attitudes toward mental health care that reflect a distrust of professionals and preference for self-management. Discussion: These findings suggest more can be done to further support help-seekers who report stigma and to support non-help seekers who may have attitudinal barriers to traditional care but may benefit from innovative care solutions.