Mental health service use and barriers to help-seeking among LGBTQ+ first-year college students in Chile

Marcelo A. Crockett, Vania Martínez*, Scarlett Mac-Ginty, Álvaro I. Langer, Jorge Gaete, Daniel Núñez, Irene Léniz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aimed to describe university students’ use of mental health services and the barriers to help-seeking by sexual orientation and gender identity and to examine the factors related to these variables. A total of 7,136 first-year students from five Chilean universities participated. They answered an online survey on mental health service use, barriers to help-seeking, 12-month mental disorders, and sociodemographic variables. Data were analyzed using logistic and negative binomial regression models. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, questioning, and other sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ+) students, especially trans and gender non-conforming participants, reported higher mental health service use than non-LGBTQ+ students. Sexual minority students were less likely to report the help-seeking barriers "prefer to handle on one’s own" and "talk with friends/family", but were more likely to report the barriers "cost", "unsure where to go", and "time, transportation, or scheduling problems". Some variables were associated with service use and barriers in both groups (e.g. lower parental education was associated with lower service use), while others were only associated with one group (e.g. non-LGBTQ+ women reported higher service use). These results suggest that initiatives aimed at promoting access to mental health services should be tailored to different subpopulations of university students.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of LGBT Youth
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • barriers to help-seeking
  • college students
  • mental health
  • service use


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