Help seeking attitudes of non-university rural youth at eMashingeni, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Zuma, Ayanda Prince.
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The present study was motivated by a gap in the knowledge about the help seeking attitudes and behaviours of South African rural youth. The aim of the study was to determine the help seeking behaviours and attitudes of non-university youth from eMashingeni, KwaZulu-Natal. The study explored problems that are frequently experienced by the youth and the sources of help from which the youth prefer to seek help for the problems they experience. The study also investigated youths' attitudes towards psychological help. The study adopted a quantitative-descriptive method. The researcher sampled 48 participants by means of a non-probability convenience sampling technique. The instruments for the study consisted of an adapted questionnaire with three sections. The questionnaires were distributed to the participants and the researcher was available to explain anything which was not clear. The quantitative data were captured and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented in frequency tables, pie charts and bar graphs. The fmdings of the study revealed two major problems frequently encountered by the youth of eMashingeni. These problems were financial issues and feeling unhappy with life. Other problems that were encountered by some, although not the majority were interpersonal problems, as well as somatic complaints. As expected, the study also revealed that close friends and a partner were the most preferred sources of help. Other indicated sources of help included medical doctors and professional psychologists. The study showed that although the youth have a positive attitude towards psychological help, they are ambivalent about whether psychological help would be the first choice of treatment when in distress. Further, the time and costs involved in the process of seeking counselling and psychotherapy elicited doubts in the youth as to whether they would consider seeking psychological help. These findings depict a slight shift from previous studies which reported clearly negative attitudes from the youth. The findings suggest a great need for the availability and accessibility of free psychological services for rural youth, as well as a need for psychoeducation and awareness campaigns about psychological services.