Role of Fresh Start Mindset Framing in Reducing Stigma and Promoting Mental Health Help-Seeking Behavior

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One challenge in promoting mental health help-seeking behaviors is the masculine norm ingrained in the U.S. Using experimental data, this article examines how fresh start mindset (FSM) framing can be effective in helping reduce the stigma associated with mental health help-seeking behaviors and increase the promotion of positive attitudes and word-of-mouth of the mental health messages among men (vs. women). This study uniquely reveals that FSM framing in mental health ad campaigns might help men switch from the mindset that mental health help-seeking behaviors equate to showing weakness to one of help-seeking behaviors as a fresh start. Further, this study demonstrates that males with high issue involvement levels and females with low issue involvement levels respond to FSM framing more favorably. Thus, issue involvement levels form the critical boundary conditions. The authors also reveal that attitudes toward the ads operate as an underlying mechanism in FSM framing effects on responses.