Moderated Mediation Study on Mental Health Risk Factors, Healthcare Infrastructure, and Care Seeking Among University Students: Basis for a Proposed Public Health Education Program
Mental health issues have become global public health concerns in recent time. Yet, in Kenya five out of six people who suffer from mental health issues do not seek help. This paper sort to uncover the determinants that impact mental health help seeking behaviors among university students in the event of depression, anxiety, and stress. Quantitative methodology was used utilizing descriptive-correlational design and structural Equation Modeling. Six hundred and sixteen respondents from eight universities each representing the eight provinces of Kenya participated in the study. Multi-stage sampling was used to select provinces, universities, and clusters of students. The study was anchored in the Theory of Planned Behavior and the Social Ecological Model. The findings suggested that socio-cognitive factors (attitude, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control) and healthcare infrastructure (human resource, referral system) predicted intention to seek help and consequently help seeking practices. Further, intention to seek help fully mediated the relationship between socio-cognitive factors and mental health care seeking sources. Moreover, intention partially mediated healthcare infrastructure and mental health care seeking sources. The results also showed that sex and family structures played a moderating role in the relationship among the independent and dependent variables. Finally, a new model that emerged was used to develop a public health education program that may be used for intervention purposes.
Keywords - Mental Health Care Seeking, Socio-cognitive Factors, Mental Health Risk Factors, Healthcare Infrastructure, Intention, University Students, Kenya.