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Research On Perceptions of University Students Toward Mental Health

Main research question

What are the perceptions about mental health services and mental health among college students in US and Vietnam?

Description of the study

There is a serious problem with public health caused by the worldwide burden of mental health illnesses. College students are an example of a demographic that may be at increased risk for mental health problems. There is a lack of information on the perspectives of college students in Vietnam with regard to mental disease and assistance for mental health. The individuals from the United States and Vietnam in the research had quite different ideas about the factors that contribute to mental illness. The participants from Vietnam had a tendency to think that those who suffered from mental diseases were dangerous and should be isolated from society, whereas the participants from the United States thought that mental disorders are the same as other ailments. A key indicator of how Vietnamese people think about their mental health is the low possibility that they would seek professional care for mental disease (Kamimura et al., 2018). Instead, they prefer to seek aid from their family or friends when they are struggling with mental illness. Interventions, such as campaigns aimed at raising awareness about mental health or training courses, have to be made available to college students in Vietnam. It is possible that the stigma associated with mental illness can be reduced in Vietnam by using some of the tactics that have been employed in the United States to promote the mental health of college students.


Self-administered surveys were used in data collection from January to March of 2018 for a state university in the US and one in Vietnam. Participants were students ranging in age from 18 to 30 who were enrolled in a class that was linked to social science. Each participant gave their consent, which was recorded. In-class, undergraduate students were provided with a consent cover letter and a paper survey, both of which may be handed in at any point during or after the class. There was no collection of personally-identifying information.


The findings of this study, which compared the perspectives of college students in Vietnam with the United States about mental illness and services related to mental health, maybe broken down into three categories. To begin, there were national variations in the perceptions of the factors that contribute to mental illness. In particular, the participants from Vietnam stated that the most common reason was stress from daily life, whereas the participants from the United States believed that the most common cause was chemical imbalance (Kamimura et al., 2018). Second, participants from Vietnam were more likely to hold the perception that those who suffered from mental illness were dangerous and should be isolated from the community, whereas participants from the United States believed that mental disease was comparable to other types of sickness. Thirdly, one of the primary reasons that Vietnamese participants cited for not getting care for mental illness was a preference for obtaining assistance from family or friends rather than a professional.


  This study compared the perspectives of university students in the US and Vietnam on mental health and the behaviors associated with seeking mental health services. In comparison to college students in the United States, the researchers found that fewer previous studies had been conducted on the mental diseases that affect Vietnamese college students. The results for Vietnamese students were consistent with those found in earlier research conducted on Vietnamese immigrant groups located all over the world, as well as various mental health studies conducted in Vietnam.


Kamimura, A., Trinh, H. N., Johansen, M., Hurley, J., Pye, M., Sin, K., & Nguyen, H. (2018). Perceptions of mental health and mental health services among college students in Vietnam and the United States. Asian Journal of Psychiatry, 37, 15–19.

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