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Nearly 3 out of 4 all lifelong mental disorders occur by the age of twenty-four. Remote crisis support holds great potential in filling a critical gap in complementing and expanding access to mental health services for acute episodes of mental distress in adolescents and young adults; yet little is understood about the individual factors that influence help-seeking behavior in this group. Recent evidence suggests technology-based mental health services have high acceptability among youth and may be used to treat anxiety and depression. The objective of this study was to examine county-level help-seeking behavior among adolescents and young adults using Crisis Text Line (CTL). CTL is a free, text-based crisis counseling service that has been available nationally since 2013. Spatial error regression was used to (1) identify the individual-level factors that correlate with help-seeking behavior for depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and (2) to explore the geographic trends in text-based help-seeking behavior between adolescents and young adults across the rural-urban continuum. Increased rates of text-based help-seeking occurred in counties with higher mean household incomes, higher divorce rates, and lower residential stability. Rurality was the strongest predictor for low rates of help-seeking, and this finding is particularly concerning in light of elevated rates of suicide among rural counties. Rural communities, particularly those with low support-seeking behavior and comparatively high suicide rates, should be the target of future research and outreach.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Social science & medicine (1982)
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Form of social behavior in which assistance is sought from others.
Searching behavior by parasitic or commensal organisms, to find animals or plants that are a source of nourishment and habitation.
Activities performed to obtain licit or illicit substances.
Deliberate and planned acts of unlawful behavior engaged in by aggrieved segments of the population in seeking social change.
How information is gathered in personal, academic or work environments and the resources used.
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