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Tuesday, October 9 • 5:15pm - 5:45pm
Oral 12, Talk 5. "What stops young people from seeking help for the effects of trauma? A qualitative analysis of internet forums"

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Sarah Bendall1,2, Katherine Truss3, Jocelyn Liao3, Lisa Phillips3; 1Orygen: The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, 2The Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, 3School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne
Exposure to trauma is common in childhood and adolescence, and is associated with significant psychopathology including posttraumatic stress, mood and anxiety disorders, substance use, and personality disorders and psychosis. Despite being amenable to treatment, many young people suffering trauma-related distress do not seek professional help. Researching barriers to professional help-seeking is difficult as young people not engaged with services are difficult to access.  Internet forums provide a solution as young people may access internet forums but not traditional services and they often describe their experiences in detail online. This study aimed to identify personal barriers young people perceived to seeking help for trauma in offline contexts. This study has a qualitative, netnographic design, following the six-step LiLEDDa framework, developed for the analysis of online forums. Posts from 76 threads about trauma (176 participants) written in 2016 from five internet forums targeting young people were included and analysed by thematic analysis. Barriers to offline help-seeking for trauma aligned with five key themes: questioning the validity of the trauma response; negative beliefs about the self; fears about a negative response; difficulties trusting others; and a lack of personal readiness. Understanding of these barriers gives information about targets for psycho-education for victims of trauma; those who support them; and professionals as to how to reduce barriers to access to trauma treatment.  These results can be used to facilitate provision of services to vulnerable young people by directly targeting commonly difficulties early in the course of treatment to reduce distress and drop-out.

Tuesday October 9, 2018 5:15pm - 5:45pm EDT
St. George CD Westin Copley Place, third floor

Attendees (8)