Mental Health Literacy, Beliefs and Demand for Mental Health Support among University Students
SeriesPhD Lunch Seminars
LocationErasmus University Rotterdam, Polak Building 2-14
Date and time
March 02, 2022
12:00 - 12:45
This paper assesses the impact of a mental health literacy intervention on the demand for mental health support among university students. We run an incentivized survey experiment with 2,978 university students from one of the largest Dutch universities. The literacy intervention provides information on the benefits of care-seeking and its potential returns in terms of academic performance. The intervention increases the willingness-to-pay for a mental health app among male respondents, and it increases (decreases) the demand for information about coaching (psychological) services among female respondents. Increased perceived effectiveness of low-intensity interventions is likely to be the mechanism. In a follow-up survey, we find evidence that the treated female respondents have improved their mental health. Finally, a model of mental health investment decisions in the presence of (self-)image concerns rationalizes the results.