Abstracts & Papers in Stream 5

Depression is a significant indicator that measures the quality of life in old age. Despite the high rates of depression in old age and the fatal consequences of such symptoms such as increased morbidity and mortality, less than a quarter of these older adults with depressive symptoms are treated in western societies. Problems with recognition, diagnosis, and intervention are attributed to such low rates of care. In the East Asian culture where mental health problems are more likely to be presented in a somatic form, symptoms of depression in older adults can be easily dismissed; mental health beliefs, attitudes, and stigma can also become a barrier to acknowledging and seeking help for depression. The purpose of this study was to investigate older adults in Korea, their ability to recognize the symptoms of depression, and the factors that influence their attitudes toward seeking out mental health services for their depression. One hundred patients who were 65 years old and older were recruited for a survey interview at non-psychiatric outpatient clinics at three urban general hospitals. They were asked questions about: 1) the nature of the problems presented in a case vignette, which portrayed symptoms of depression, 2) preferred choices of service providers and methods for treating such problems, both traditional and western, and 3) their attitudes toward mental health services in general. Afterwards, a preliminary data analysis was conducted, and strategies for increasing recognition of geriatric depression and reducing barriers to seeking services among older Korean adults were discussed.

Mental health literacy is one approach to mental health prevention that has gained increasing attention during the last decade. Mental health literacy includes: 1) one's ability to recognize symptoms of major mental health problems, 2) one's ability obtain information/knowledge of self-care and professional treatment, and 3) her/his attitudes and beliefs that facilitate the use of mental health services. This is particularly important in young adults. It is frequently cited that during this stage of life there is an onset of major mental health problems, such as schizophrenia and depression. The purpose of this study is to investigate the ability of Korean young adults to recognize symptoms of depression and to examine how gender affects their ability to recognize such symptoms and form help-seeking behaviors. Two hundred students were recruited for a survey on two college campuses in Seoul metropolitan area. They were administered a self-reported questionnaire that features two case vignettes of depression for which they were asked to identify the nature of the problems, beliefs about psychological disorder (BPD), attitudes toward mental health services (ATMHS), and sources of help. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis were conducted to examine gender differences in the levels of depression literacy and help-seeking behaviors. Implications for gender-specific strategies for recognition of and intervention to depression on Korean college campuses were discussed.

This paper focuses on how urban mental health support systems help women to successfully negotiate their mental distress and promote their mental well-being. Socio-cultural issues impact on women's mental distress, particularly in East Asian countries where 'traditional' gender roles are valued. However, while a great deal of effort has been made by both the Japanese government and medical professionals, treatment largely follows the biomedical model and socio-cultural perspectives, particularly for middle-aged women, have been largely neglected. Currently in Japan, medical, psychological and alternative mental health supports are available; however, many women are sceptical about their value, the main reason being that both internalised and external barriers exist against help-seeking. Investigating these barriers is therefore the key to understanding women's experience of accessing appropriate mental health support. This paper presents the voices of both women and mental health professionals to investigate how women's well-being can be promoted by current mental health services using the principles of gender-sensitive support. It identifies that barriers exist towards women accessing the present mental health support system. First, women are anxious about psychiatric drug treatment and are afraid of becoming stigmatised by being a psychiatric patient. They are worried about the 'medicalisation of their unhappiness' Second, non-clinical support is kept at a distance because it is difficult to choose reliable and appropriate support. Third, women tend to privatise their mental distress, especially if this is cause by family matters, since according to Japanese beliefs and cultural norms, women are responsible for the family's welfare.

Full paper download: Kamozawa_S_gender_and_mental_health.pdf

The purpose of this study is to explore the effects on the depression and suicide of patients with HIV/AIDS. The sampling is non-random. The study will expect to detect the effects on the depression and suicide of HIV/AIDS patients.

The study approach was quantitative. The 313 respondents were HIV/AIDS patients in one of medical center hospital from 2000 to 2006 in Taiwan. The study questionnaires were Basic questionnaire and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The practice analysis expected to study the effect and reasons for depression and suicide of the HIV/AIDS patients.

79.6% HIV/AIDS patients had depression. 67.1% of cases attempted suicide when they knew they had HIV/AIDS. Sex, marriage, education, occupation, sex behavior, religion, membership support groups, taking AIDS medicine, self-health, depression, and time suffering from HIV/AIDS all had a significant effect on attempt suicide. The clinical survey found the education, occupation, sex behavior, membership support groups. AIDS medicine (HAART), attempted suicide, and time suffering from HIV/AIDS all had a significant effect on depression.

In conclusion, the study found depression had a significant effect on attempted suicide. And HIV/AIDS patients of less than five years had significantly higher depression and attempted suicide. The HIV/AIDS patients who had joined support groups could significantly reduce their depression and attempted suicide. The support groups were effective in reducing melancholy of terminally and new AIDS patients. This study, recommends the provision of support group to clinical treatments, and community social work in AIDS patients' clinical services.

The aim of this study was to investigate the role of mental health as a risk factor in the retainment of individuals who are participating in the Self-Sufficiency Program (SSP), one of South Korea's workfare programs. The data from personal interviews with SSP participants were used: The interviewees were recruited from 12 SSP agencies, and were asked questions about their demographics, economic situation, job-related experiences, general health, mental health, and family care burdens. The Cox regression analysis model was used to examine the effects of psychiatric impairment on the likelihood of participants' leaving the program for negative reasons. The analysis revealed that those with poor mental health were twice as likely as those without such conditions to leave the SSP for negative reasons, when controlling for other factors. Recommendations for mental health screening, and service provision, referral and monitoring were discussed for further development of the SSP.