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Table 3 Results of the thematic analysis of focus group discussions presenting codes, categories and themes

From: Effect of a peer‐led intervention combining mental health promotion with coping‐strategy‐based workshops on mental health awareness, help‐seeking behavior, and wellbeing among university students in Hong Kong

Themes Categories Examples of codes included per category
Definition and attitudes of mental health Relaxation Being relaxed; Sleep well to do other activities
Emotions State of mind, feeling down, depressed, stressed out
Control Ability to deal with emotions and manage stress
Loneliness Being alone is difficult
Positive thinking and resilience Positive attitude to life; Never give up when you are depressed
Confidence Believe in oneself and be confident
Elements needed for good mental health Different attitudes to deal with stress
Helpful actions Exercise to release stress or anger; Getting distracted from the problems
Challenges when dealing with mental health Signs of emotional distress Seeing only the negative; Struggle to control
Negative impact of mental health problems It affects social life; Difficulty to manage peer and academic pressure
Boundary between normal state and abnormal emotional state where help is needed Difficult to differentiate whether improving or worsening
Stigmas associated to mental illness People are fearful of mental health problems; Recovery is not possible
Strategies to deal with mental health challenges Communication and sharing Express and not keep the problems to oneself; Talk to friends and close people
Self-care Relax to find inner peace
Being active Get involved in activities; Physical activity is helpful
Spiritual belief Praying to God helps
Seek professional help Professional help is important
Professional help may lead to faster recovery
Strategies to help others Communication and sharing Listening and sharing similar experiences
Feedback and advice Provide positive feedback
Social support Social support, stress relief together
Seek professional help Seek professional help
Positive impact of the program Understanding of mental health Mental health problems are quite normal; Willingness to seek professional help
Good and helpful Learned how to get out of negative issues; A way to break the routine, relax and not to think; Help improved sleep; Taking care of oneself; Strategies to improve mental health
Extended impact (using what was learned to help others) Sharing information from the program to help others