Mental health Attitudes and Political Views. Mental health problems constitute a significant proportion of the global disease burden, accounting for up to 7.5 percent of the burden (Whiteford et al., 2013). Notably, the predominant forms of mental disorders include depression, substance abuse, and anxiety although there are other forms. Mental conditions are usually ignored in the society due to negative attitudes towards the affected people as well as misplaced perceptions and beliefs about mental health issues (Ferrari et al., 2014). It is of note that some of the patients do not recognize that the condition is manageable and treatable at various health care centers, leading to few of them seeking assistance. It is also plausible to presume that stigmatization of the patients causes the low rate of seeking assistance with the condition. As a result of the blatant stigmatization of the patients, only about ten percent of them seek professional help and care (Wang et al., 2007). Additionally, the patients remain largely unaware of the symptoms or the condition, causing minimal social support on the realization of the condition (Ahmedani, 2011).
One of the populations that have underutilized mental health services is students of African descent (Marksdale and Molock, 2009). This is despite evidence that they are likely to be as depressed as other students. Notably, these students are likely to seek help from family members and clergy rather than professional counselors or medical practitioners, which would be undoubtedly beneficial (Aymer, 2010). This cohort of students, other ethnicities notwithstanding, is influenced by factors such as poverty, racial and gender bias, or mistrust of professionals. Research conducted by Obasi and Leong (2009) indicates that such psychosocial behavior is a key component attitude towards mental health, influencing the actions taken by the affected individuals. Notably, attitudes towards mental health issues are multifaceted. This implies that the society has different perceptions on the need of professional assistance regarding mental health, the stigma levels are relatively high, there is low interpersonal openness about the mental health problems, and the lack of confidence in the professionals handling mental health problems.