Methods: Secondary data for 172 Black boys were utilized from a baseline mental health needs assessment conducted by a large school district in Southeast Michigan. Logistic regression was employed to examine the predictive power of select psychosocial and access barriers on school-based Mental Health Resource (SBMHR) utilization as well as the relationship between depression and SBMHR utilization. Psychosocial barriers included self-reliance, stigma, trust, and negative previous experience. Access barriers include, no transportation, lack of time, lack of Insurance, and parental restrictions. Participants ranged from 13 to 19 years old, and the majority were in 9th and 10th grade.
Results: There was no significant relationship between depression and school Mental Health Resource use. Additionally, no access barriers were found to be significantly associated with SBMHR utilization. However, self-reliance and stigma were statistically significant predictors. Boys who identified self-reliance in addressing their mental health symptoms were 70% less likely to use available Mental health resources in their school. When stigma was reported as a barrier to using SBMHR, participants were nearly four times more likely to use school-based Mental Health Resources.
Conclusion: Identifying potential barriers to Black boys’ use of school-based mental health resources provides mental health professionals with insight on how to improve these resources and better attract Black boys into utilizing them. This study serves as an early step in exploring how school-based mental health resources can better serve the needs of Black boys. Future studies would benefit from a nationally representative sample that would allow for more generalizable results regarding barriers and facilitators to Black boys’ use of school-based mental health resources. Longitudinal data would also allow for the examination of changes in mental health resource use over time and potentially establish a causal relationship.