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"I did not realize so many options are available" : cognitive authority, emerging adults, and e-mental health

Neal, Diane M. and Campbell, Andrew J. and Williams, Lynne Y. and Liu, Ye and Nussbaumer, Doris (2011) "I did not realize so many options are available" : cognitive authority, emerging adults, and e-mental health. Library and Information Science Research, 33 (1). pp. 25-33. ISSN 0740-8188

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Abstract

Approximately one in five people in developed countries such as Canada and Australia will experience mental illness during their lifespan, and this statistic may be even higher for people between the ages of 18 and 25. Due to widespread stigma and other issues, access to mental health care is limited. However, given the heavy online use by people in this age range as well as the prevalence of existing online health information, it is possible that “e-mental health,” when delivered in an efficacious and engaging format, could be a viable dissemination option. A quantitative and qualitative online survey was distributed to university students in order to determine their opinions of currently available e-mental health resources. Within the sample (n = 1308), text-based searching on Web sites such as Google as well as reading informational Web sites were the most highly preferred and utilized methods. However, a significant knowledge gap regarding the existence of other e-mental health formats was noted. Suggestions for future research include search engine optimization changes and continued development of e-mental health resources.