Close menu


Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Barriers to Help Seeking in Men

Elliott, Ryan and Owens, Rebecca (2023) Barriers to Help Seeking in Men. Psychreg Journal of Psychology, 7 (2). ISSN 2515-138X

Item Type: Article


Males continuously account for ~75% of deaths by suicide. The motivation for ~50% of suicides implicate physical and/or mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety are two leading causes of global disease burden and disability, however not all those suffering with symptoms will seek help. Increased mental health literacy through formal education, such as psychology or mental health education, may lead to a greater awareness of the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the potential repercussions if left untreated, and may therefore promote helpseeking. This study investigated whether awareness of anxiety and depression symptoms among men in the North of England related to help seeking behaviours by conducting two separate focus groups among men with (i.e., psychology students) and without formal mental health education. A thematic analysis on the resulting data identified four main themes: (1) sex differences; (2) knowledge; (3) individuality; and (4) influences on help-seeking – each with subthemes. Findings support existing research suggesting increased mental health literacy improves the ability to recognise symptoms of anxiety and depression, however this does not promote help-seeking behaviours. Barriers to help seeking behaviours revealed the main deterrents included mental health information, support, and treatment not catering to male needs. The findings highlight the need to separate research and interventions on males and females in order to tailor approaches and treatments appropriately, indicating a “one-size fits all” approach to mental health and well-being does not apply.

10-ryan-elliott-117-132-0223.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (878kB) | Preview

More Information

Depositing User: Rebecca Owens


Item ID: 16436
ISSN: 2515-138X
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Rebecca Owens: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2023 09:44
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 09:44


Author: Rebecca Owens ORCID iD
Author: Ryan Elliott

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Psychology


Psychology > Counselling

Actions (login required)

View Item (Repository Staff Only) View Item (Repository Staff Only)