Seeking help for psychological distress in urban china

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Based on data gathered through a household survey of 1,474 urban residents in Beijing, this study examines Chinese help-seeking behaviors in times of psychological distress and perceived barriers to seeking professional help. The results demonstrate that most respondents rely on informal means of seeking help whereas mental health and medical services are underused. The Internet has become a preferred alternative help-seeking approach, particularly among the young educated migrant population. Respondents with higher socioeconomic status are more likely to utilize professional services. The tendency to seek help informally is associated with refusal to recognize the need of professional help, whereas embarrassment and stigma are significant factors in the use of alternative services, particularly the Internet. In addition to showing a general lack of trust in professional mental health services, the more psychologically distressed subgroup also expressed concerns about the affordability of professional treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-341
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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