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Help-seeking behaviour in men and women with common mental health problems: cross-sectional study

  • Maria Isabel Oliver (a1), Nicky Pearson (a2), Nicola Coe (a3) and David Gunnell (a4)
Abstract
Background

Many people with mental health problems do not seek professional help but their use of other sources of help is unclear.

Aims

To investigate patterns of lay and professional help-seeking in men and women aged 16–64 years in relation to severity of symptoms and sociodemographic variables.

Method

Postal questionnaire survey, including the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ–12), sent to a stratified random sample (n=15222) of the population of Somerset.

Results

The response rate was 76%. Only 28% of people with extremely high GHQ–12 scores (⩾8) had sought help from their general practitioner but most (78%) had sought some form of help. Males, young people and people living in affluent areas were the least likely to seek help.

Conclusions

Health promotion interventions to encourage appropriate help-seeking behaviour in young people, particularly in men, may lead to improvements in the mental health of this group of the population.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Maria Isabel Oliver, HPA South West, The Wheel house, Bond's Mill, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire GL10 3 RE, UK. Tel. 01453 829740; e-mail: Isabel.oliver@hpa.org.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None. This research was funded by Somerset Health Authority.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Help-seeking behaviour in men and women with common mental health problems: cross-sectional study

  • Maria Isabel Oliver (a1), Nicky Pearson (a2), Nicola Coe (a3) and David Gunnell (a4)
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