ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (1): 1-12.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00001

• Special Section of Public Psychological Services: Research and Practice •     Next Articles

Mental health literacy: Concept, measurement, intervention and effect

MING Zhi-jun1,2, CHEN Zhi-yan1()   

  1. 1 CAS Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Beijing 100101, China
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2019-03-16 Online:2020-01-15 Published:2019-11-21
  • Contact: CHEN Zhi-yan


Mental health literacy (MHL) is important for improving mental health. In a narrow sense, it refers to the knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management or prevention. In a broad sense, it refers to the comprehensive use of mental health knowledge, skills and attitudes to maintain and promote mental health. MHL is often measured by Vignette case questionnaire, and unidimensional or multi-dimensional scales. Interventions including social campaigns, school education, self-service application and Mental Health First Aid training can effectively improve MHL. Elements of MHL, including psychological health knowledge, mental disorder recognition, emotional regulation, anti-stigma, and help-seeking attitude etc, are positively related to mental health. Future research can be carried out in such aspects as constructing the MHL evaluation system, exploring the mechanism of its influence, expanding the coverage of research, and strengthening empirical intervention research.

Key words: mental health literacy, concept, measurement, intervention

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