Determination of beliefs, attitudes of consulting teachers towards mental diseases, and referral reasons of their students to a child and adolescent psychiatrist
Meryem Ozlem Kutuk, Emine Durmus, Cem Gokcen, Fevziye Toros, Gulen Guler, Erkan Evegu
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Article No: 4   Article Type :  Research
Objective: In the present study, the aim was to evaluate the beliefs and attitudes of school counselors about mental illnesses, and reasons why counselors referred students to psychiatrists.

Method: The study was carried out with 118 school counselors. Data were collected with sociodemographic information form and Beliefs toward Mental Illness Scale (BMIS).

Results: According to study results, 15.3% of school counselors stated that they referred to a psychiatrist for their own psychological problems at some time, and 32% of subjects referred their own children to a child and adolescent psychiatrist. The proportion of teachers who referred their students to a child and adolescent psychiatrist was 89.8%. Scores of school counselors were 80.41±9.32 in overall BMIS, 28.82±5.35 in dangerousness, 43.83±4.93 in poor social and interpersonal skills, and 7.76±1.81 points in incurability subscales. No statistically significant relationship was determined between mean scores of participants and gender, age, marital status, institution where they work, working duration, and graduate program they attended. The four most frequent student referral causes were conduct disorder (31.10%), attention deficit (16.10%), depressive mood (14.72%) and hyperactivity (12.20%).

Conclusion: It is noticed that school counselors have negative beliefs about mental disorders, feel shame because of them, and they regard these patients dangerous. On the other hand, participants believe that these disorders lead to despair in individuals and impair interpersonal communication. According to the literature search, this study is the first investigating beliefs and attitudes of school counselors about mental illnesses, and reasons why they refer students to psychiatrists.
Keywords : Attitude, beliefs towards mental illness, child and adolescent psychiatry, school counselor
Dusunen Adam The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2016;29:227-236
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