Self-affirming values to increase student veterans’ intentions to seek counseling.

Student veterans experiencing mental health concerns could benefit from seeking counseling (Rudd, Goulding, & Bryan, 2011), though they often avoid these services. Self-affirmation interventions have been developed to increase openness to health-related behaviors (Sherman & Cohen, 2006), and may also help promote psychological help-seeking intentions. This study explored whether a self-affirmation intervention increased intentions to seek counseling in a sample of 74 student veterans who had not previously sought counseling services. Participants completed pretest (Time 1) measures of distress and help seeking (i.e., self-stigma, attitudes, and intentions to seek counseling). A week later (Time 2), participants completed one of two conditions: (1) a self-affirmation intervention before viewing a psychoeducational video and brochure or (2) only the psychoeducational video and brochure before completing the same help-seeking measures as Time 1. A week after the intervention (Time 3), participants again completed the help-seeking measures. A focused longitudinal mediation model was conducted, examining the effect of the self-affirmation experimental condition on help-seeking intentions. Compared with those in the psychoeducation-only group, student veterans who completed the self-affirmation intervention reported increased intentions to seek counseling both immediately postintervention (Time 2) and a week later (Time 3). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)