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Mental health attitudes, self-criticism, compassion and role identity among UK social work students.Although many social work students suffer from mental health symptoms, the majority of them do not seek help, because of shame. Accordingly, the purposes of this study were to evaluate social work students' attitudes for mental health problems, and explore relationships among shame, mental health symptoms, self-criticism, self-compassion, and role identity. Firstly, 84 UK female undergraduate social work students completed a measure of attitudes toward mental health problems, and were compared with 94 UK female undergraduate students in other subjects. UK female undergraduate social work students had a higher level of negative perception in their community’s attitudes toward mental health problems. Secondly, 87 UK social work students, completed the attitudes, mental health, self-criticism, self-compassion, and role identity measures. Self-criticism, self-compassion, and role identity were significantly related to mental health symptoms, and identified as significant, independent predictors of mental health symptoms. This study confirmed that social work students consider that their community perceives mental health problems negatively, and that their self-criticism, self-compassion, and role identity relate to their poor mental health. The findings may help social work students, educators, and researchers deepen the understanding of their mental health symptoms and identify better solutions.
Self-criticism and self-reassurance as mediators between mental health attitudes and symptoms: Attitudes towards mental health problems in Japanese workers.Japanese workers suffer high rates of mental health symptoms, recognised recently by the Japanese government, which has enacted workplace well-being initiatives. One reason for poor mental health concerns negative attitudes about mental health problems such as shame, which may be mediated by self-reassurance and self-criticism. This study aimed to evaluate shame-based attitudes towards mental health problems, and explore the relationship between mental health attitudes, self-criticism, self-reassurance and mental health symptoms. Japanese workers (n=131) completed three measures; attitudes towards mental health problems, mental health symptoms, and self-criticism/reassurance. A high proportion of workers reported negative attitudes about mental health problems. There were strong relationships between mental health attitudes, mental health symptoms, self-criticism, and self-reassurance. Path analyses revealed that the total and indirect effects (through self-criticism and self- reassurance) of mental health attitudes on mental health were larger than the direct effect alone. Hated-self and family-reflected shame were identified as predictors for mental health symptoms. The findings suggest the importance of self-criticism and self-reassurance in mental health and mental health attitudes. Implications for help-seeking behaviours are also discussed. Interventions aimed at reducing self-criticism and enhancing self-reassurance are recommended to improve mental health attitudes and increase help-seeking in Japanese workers.