The research described in this article was supported by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), and the Center for Mental Health Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, United States Department of Health and Human Services (NIDRR grant H133B090019).
Journal of Technology in Human Services
Young adults with mental disabilities -- Internet use, Young adults with mental disabilities -- Social networks, Technology and youth, Internet and youth, Young adults with mental disabilities -- Services for
Barriers such as stigmatization and access to health care may lead young adults with mental health conditions (YAMHC) to try to find alternatives to more traditional means of obtaining care. One possible alternative is to seek information online. The purpose of this article is to better understand how YAMHC use the Internet to access information about mental health, and the challenges they face when trying to access that information. Semistructured focus groups were conducted to investigate how YAMHC use the Internet for information and support regarding their mental health. Three major themes about mental health information seeking emerged from the data: (a) Topics searched, (b) Motivations for going online to search for information, and (c) Barriers to successful searching. Findings indicate that YAMHC look up information related to their mental health for a variety of reasons that are unique to the online experience, and use that information to help them with their care, despite at times feeling overwhelmed by, and not always trusting of, the information available.
Published as: L. Kris Gowen (2013) Online Mental Health Information Seeking in Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges, Journal of Technology in Human Services, 31:2, 97-111.