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Decision to seek treatment can rub off on loved ones

May 3, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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A family member's decision to seek help for a substance use or mental health disorder could serve as an important motivator for someone to seek treatment, according to results of a new study.

Published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, the Canadian study found that individuals who had spoken to a professional about their mental health in the past year were 30% more likely to report knowing a loved one who had received behavioral healthcare. The study was based on results of a 2012 community health survey.

“The significant message is that if you go get help yourself, you might also be helping your friends and family,” said study lead author François Thériault, a PhD student at the University of Ottawa.

The researchers stated that these findings could help reframe behavioral health awareness campaigns by tapping into social learning theory, which states that individuals learn behaviors by observing the behaviors of others.

 

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