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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-91

Exploring Perspectives on Mental Well-Being of Urban Youth from a City in South India

1 SAMARTH, 100 Warren Road, Mylapore, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Schizophrenia Research Foundation, R/7A, North Main Road, Anna Nagar West Extension, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 CitiesRISE, 33 W 60th Street FL2, New York, NY 10023, USA
4 Schizophrenia Research Foundation, R/7A, North Main Road, Anna Nagar West Extension, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India; CitiesRISE, 33 W 60th Street FL2, New York, NY 10023

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vijaya Raghavan
Schizophrenia Research Foundation, R/7A, North Main Road, Anna Nagar West Extension, Chennai - 600 101, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_17_21

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Background: Mental health needs and concerns of young persons in resource-poor settings remain poorly understood and inadequate. How young people understand and perceive mental well-being might differ based on their setting. Hence, the aim of this study was to understand how young people in urban settings perceived mental health and well-being. It also explores their perceived barriers to mental well-being. Materials and Methods: A qualitative study, using focus group discussions and in-depth interviews (IDIs), was conducted with youth aged 18–24 years from three different settings, namely educational institutions, workspace, and urban slums, in Chennai city, South India. The following three themes related to mental health well-being were identified (i) What does it mean? (ii) What affects it? and (iii) How do young people cope? Results: Four focus group discussions (9–10 participants in each) and 15 IDIs were conducted. Findings revealed that mental well-being was affected by relationship issues, academic/career pressures, and social mores; seeking mental health care was stigmatizing and differences in societal norms left young women feeling vulnerable and frustrated. Conclusion: Results highlight the various mental health challenges faced by young people in urban settings in India and underscore the need for more research to better understand the interactions between individual and environmental factors. These, in turn, would inform the development of early interventions to promote mental health and help cope with mental problems among young people.

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