IJERPH, Vol. 20, Pages 2205: Risk Factors for the Mental Health of Adolescents from the Parental Perspective: Photo-Voice in Rural Communities of Ecuador (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Mental health in adolescence is a very important topic worldwide, especially in rural areas. The implementation of Participatory Action Research (PAR) through the photo-voice method was a way to encourage adults to recognize problematic situations (at personal, family or community levels) that threaten the well-being of adolescents, but that in everyday life may go u nnoticed by parents and caregivers. Our study aimed to identify risk factors for mental health in adolescents living in rural communities of Ecuador from the parental perspective through photographs and focus group discussions. The study sought to raise awareness of this issue at the family and community levels. The photo-voice method was conducted with the participation of 29 parents. The photographs and the collaborative construction of meanings allowed parents to have a better understanding about the importance of mental health and its benefit for adolescents. The principal risk factors mentioned by parents were stress, sleep deprivation, tiredness, poverty, difficulties in continuing education and alcohol consumption. In conclusion, we point out the importance of this intervention to explore the knowledge and understanding of the topic by parents as well as to communicate information that demystifies false beliefs around mental health.