Effect of a peer‐led intervention combining mental health promotion with coping‐strategy‐based workshops on mental health awareness, help‐seeking behavior, and wellbeing among university students in Hong Kong

Daniel Kwasi Ahorsu, Dalinda Isabel Sánchez Vidaña, Donald Lipardo, Parth Bharat Shah, Pablo Cruz González, Sachin Shende, Shilpa Gurung, Harun Venkatesan, Anchalee Duongthipthewa, Talha Qasim Ansari, Veronika Schoeb

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Background: The psychological well-being of university students is an important factor in successfully coping with the demands of academic life. This study aimed to assess the impact of a peer-led intervention of mental health promotion combined with coping-strategy-based group workshops on mental health awareness and help-seeking behavior among university students in Hong Kong. Method: A mixed-method concurrent design was used for this study. Quantitative data, based on one-group pretest-posttest design, were collected using Mental Health Knowledge Schedule Questionnaire to assess mental health awareness, and Attitude Towards Seeking Professional Help Questionnaire-Short Form to examine help-seeking behavior of university students from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Qualitative data were collected from written post-activity reflections and focus group discussions which were thematically analyzed. Results: A total of 62 university students (mean age: 23.2 ± 5.1 years) were included in this study. Mental health awareness was significantly improved (p = 0.015, 95% Confidence Interval of − 2.670, − 0.297) after program implementation. Help-seeking behavior mean score increased from pretest to posttest, however, no significant difference was observed (p = 0.188, 95% CI = − 1.775, 0.355). Qualitative analysis revealed that the program helped participants learn about coping strategies to help themselves and others with mental health challenges. Conclusions: The peer-led intervention provided a positive impact through increased mental health awareness and knowledge of coping strategies on self-help and helping others among university students. Further study could focus on the impact of the program when applied regularly throughout the entire academic year.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2021


  • Coping skills
  • Help‐seeking behavior
  • Mental health
  • Mental health promotion
  • University students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this