Abrir espaço à saúde mental
: estudo-piloto sobre conhecimentos, estigma e necessidades de intervenção relativas a questões de saúde mental, junto de jovens do 8º ano de escolaridade

  • Júlio Afonso Gesta Roma Torres (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


School has an important role to play in the promotion of mental health, which is broadly acknowledged (Ministério da Saúde, 2006; Gaspar, Pais Ribeiro, Matos & Leal, 2008; Patel, Flisher, Hetrick & McGorry, 2007). Young people are considered a group that needs to be targeted because 4% of youngsters between 12-17 years old suffer from depression, and suicide is the 2nd death cause between 15-35 years old (WHO, 2005). Mental health literacy and stigma are two theoretical concepts that have been supporting school-based interventions focused on mental health promotion. The effectiveness of these programs has been demonstrated. This study is part of the “Finding Space to Mental Health” project, which runs for 3 years. The present dissertation consists on the 1st phase of this study. The main goal of this study is to explore knowledge and stigma shown by young people from the 8th grade. The opinions of the participants about the relevance and the structure of this type of programs were also explored.To collect data, in order to achieve these goals, a focus-group was conducted with seven 8th grade students, supported by a script, and a socio-demographic questionnaire, both constructed for this purpose. The data that emerged from the focus-group was analyzed according to the “Content Analysis” method. Overall, the results show, in terms of knowledge, that: mental illnesses and symptoms identified seem to be related; knowledge about risk factors and causes tend to be related to social and physical health factors; knowledge about self-help, professional help and social support network help tend to be vague and confusing; and that information about mental illness is mainly obtained through direct contact with the problem. In terms of stigma, the results show that the 8th grade students didn’t show any behaviors considered to be prejudiced, stereotyped or discriminative.
Date of Award2013
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorLuísa Campos (Supervisor) & Pedro Dias (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Psicologia

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