The Relationship Between Positive Mental Health Literacy and Mental Well-Being Among Adolescents: Implications for School Health Services (Bjornsen et al., 2019)

Mental health literacy is an asset for health that educational initiatives can strengthen, and a significant determinant of mental health. This study was intended to examine the relationship between positive mental health literacy (PMeHL) and mental well-being to discuss its implications for school health services’ mental health education.

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether it is worthwhile to include education on how to obtain and maintain good mental health in the health education provided by school nurses working with adolescents. The specific aim of this study was to identify the positive component of MHL (positive mental health literacy [PMeHL]), namely, understanding how to obtain and maintain good mental health and its relations to mental well-being to discuss its implications in a school health context.

Data were derived from a cross-sectional school-based survey including 1,888 adolescents aged 15–21 years. The regression model accounted for 41% of the variance in adolescents’ mental well-being; PMeHL was a significant explanatory variable of mental well-being.

It can be concluded that to promote adolescents’ mental health, public health education initiatives should address stress, loneliness, and physical health in addition to PMeHL. Although knowledge from education or being mental health literate does not necessarily lead to mental-health-promoting behavior, knowledge is a necessary foundation for making purposeful health-promoting decisions.