This study is exploratory research which aims to understand how users gain support from the online mental health community (OMHC) 18 percent and whether engagement with this community may possibly lead to increased self-efficacy.
In total, 128 users of an OMHC, 18 percent, completed an online questionnaire that asked open-ended questions about the community and how users engaged with it. The results were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods.
Based on the construct of self-efficacy within social cognitive theory, it is evident that the platform provides users with increased self-efficacy and encourages further support seeking in a professional capacity, either via an online or offline platform.
OMHCs provide a therapeutic, peer-to-peer space for users in times of crisis which have the possibility to increase self-efficacy when engaged with. However, users must acknowledge that although the online platform is an efficacious resource, it cannot be used as a principal proxy for offline treatment.
The authors would like to thank the University of Bolton’s Jenkinson Award for funding this research, the co-founders of 18 percent for their input and support and the users who completed the online survey for this research.
Prescott, J., Rathbone, A.L. and Hanley, T. (2020), "Online mental health communities, self-efficacy and transition to further support", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 329-344. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-12-2019-0048Download as .RIS
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