Mental health is a topic of increasing relevance in the 21st century. While this topic is becoming more prevalent in society it is also becoming an even bigger issue, especially among young adults through the media. In attempting to understand this topic, it is important to note that there are ongoing hidden disparities in the utilization of mental health resources. There are social factors in an individual’s life that can alter the decisions one makes towards their health, which is why these factors are a vital aspect when investigating the disparities in mental health resource utilization. The purpose of this study is to take a personal approach to interrogating different perspectives towards mental health and help-seeking behavior. This study draws upon in-depth interview data collected from 12 young adults. Analysis of qualitative data reveals four main findings: 1) Religion is a key determinant of utilization and beliefs regarding mental health resources, 2) Lower levels of educational attainment in the household produce less favorable attitudes toward mental health, 3) Certain cultural practices/acculturation can make BIPOC less willing to talk about their mental health and seek mental health resources, and 4) Gender identity influences mental health attitudes and help-seeking behaviors due to gendered expectations concerning with emotions. In hopes of amplifying the unique experiences of people form diverse backgrounds; this study highlights the hidden demographic factors that can impact how an individual perceives mental health and utilizes mental health resources. By investigating demographic factors (class status, culture, religion, and gender identity) and their hidden roles in influencing attitudes towards mental health, these findings help to refine and extend classis sociological theory, and hold the potential to inform policy recommendations for improving mental health awareness, marketing, and overall accessibility to varying populations.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Matthew Grace

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.