Problemas de Salud Mental en Estudiantes Universitarios de una Universidad Regional chilena.
Antúnez, Zayra; Centro de Salud Universitario, Universidad Austral de Chile.
Vinet, Eugenia V.; Departamento de Psicología, Universidad de La Frontera
MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS AMONG STUDENTS OF A REGIONAL CHILEAN UNIVERSITY Background: The increase in university population in Chile has also increased the number of students presenting mental health disorders. Aim: To determine the frequency of mental health problems and its association with other relevant variables among students of a regional university in Chile. Material and Methods: A sample of 484 students aged 18 to 28 years (45% males) were assessed once using a battery of tests designed to detect mental health problems. The instruments used were Derogates SCL-90-R, Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI – II), Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS – 21) and a social – demographic questionnaire. Results: Fifteen percent of the sample presented high levels of mental health symptoms, determined according to the cut-off points of Beck inventories. This symptomatic group, which also showed high levels of stress, was composed mostly of freshmen and women. There was a significant association between symptoms and socio-demographic variables such as living in rural areas, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, a higher need for psychological and psychiatric care and a lower number of extracurricular activities. Conclusions: The knowledge of mental health problems among university students will allow to generate strategies for mental health prevention, promotion and treatment.