Introduction: Mental health stigma remains pervasive in contemporary Philippine society. To address this, the Philippine Mental Health Act of 2018 expanded mental health literacy programs in educational institutions. However, there is limited information regarding mental health stigma in Philippine school settings. Moreover, previous studies regarding the efficacy of mental health literacy programs on behaviors revealed contrasting findings.
Methods: A total of 260 young adult college students participated in this randomized cross-sectional study. The Mental health Knowledge Schedule (MAKS) and Reported and Intended Behavior Scale (RIBS) were used to determine knowledge and behavior towards mental health. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis.
Results: The participants’ mean MAKS score was 48.70 out of 60, while the mean for the RIBS intended behavior subscale score was 17.40 out of 20. The MAKS score had a significant positive relationship with the RIBS intended behavior subscale score (r=.258, Beta=.326, SE=.097, p-value .001) but not with any of the behaviors listed in the RIBS reported behavior subscale (p-value >.05).
Conclusion: Mental health literacy programs may be essential in increasing the intent to live, work, and befriend people with mental disorders. However, further interventions are needed to facilitate the translation of intention into tangible actions.
Keywords: Discrimination, Mental health, Mental health literacy, Stigma, Students