The aim of this study is to examine the beliefs of paramedic students studying in a university toward mental illness and patient. 113 paramedic students studying in a university participated in this descriptive and cross-sectional study. Two forms were used to collect data of the study. The first part including the socio-demographic characteristics was composed of 10 questions and it was prepared by the researchers in accordance with the literature. In the second part, Beliefs toward Mental Illness Scale (BMI) composed of 21 questions was used. Percentage, frequency, independent samples t-test, analysis of and kruskal wallis were used to evaluate the data. It was determined that 66.4% of the paramedic students participating in the study were involved in the age group of 18-20 years, 57.5% were female, 51.3% were 1st-year students, 61.1% were graduated from vocational school of health, 66.4% had a middle income level and 93.8% had no mental illness. It was determined that 85.8% of the students met with an individual with mental illness and 44.2% had an individual with a mental illness in their immediate surroundings. BMI subscale mean scores of the students were 29.49±8.16 for “incurability/poor social and interpersonal skills”, 22.23±6.63 for “dangerousness”, and 0.78±1.39 for ” shame ” and their total mean score was 52.51±13.46. The distribution of BMI total mean scores of the students was found to be significant in terms of having a someone with a psychiatric disorder in the immediate surroundings (p0.05).In accordance with the findings obtained in the study, it was concluded that the students participating in the study had moderate, and even close to negative, beliefs toward mental illnesses. Developing the mental patient and disease-related awareness of paramedic students who will perform the first intervention for urgent mental patients in their professional lives is important in terms of the efficiency of the treatment and care provided for patients. Stigmatization awareness is suggested to be developed in paramedic students.
Belief, mental illness, paramedic students