Background Despite the positive effect of community-based mental health centers, the utilization of professional mental health services appears to be low. Therefore, we analyzed the relationship between regional recognition of mental health centers and utilization of professional mental health services. Methods We used data from the Community Health Survey (2014) and e-provincial indicators. Only those living in Seoul, who responded that they were either feeling a lot of stress or depression, were included in the study. Multiple logistic regression analysis using generalized estimating equations was performed to examine both individual- and regional-level variables associated with utilization of professional mental health services. Results Among the 7338 participants who reported depression or stress, 646 (8.8%) had consulted a mental health professional for their symptoms. A higher recognition rate of mental health centers was associated with more utilization of professional mental health services (odds ratio [OR]=1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.03–1.07). Conclusions Accessibility to professional mental health services could be improved depending on the general population's recognition and attitudes toward mental health centers. Therefore, health policy-makers need to plan appropriate strategies for changing the perception of mental health services and informing the public about both the benefits and functions of mental health centers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry