Parents' experience of seeking help for children with mental health problems

Erica Boulter, Debra RICKWOOD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Parents play an important role in access to mental health care for children and adolescents. They are often the first to seek professional help, yet their help-seeking experiences are not well documented. This study investigates parents' help-seeking for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioural problems. A thematic analysis of interviews with 15 parents showed three main themes describing the help-seeking experience: Pathways to mental health care; intra- and inter-personal influences; and the impact of service use experiences. Overall, parents needed to persist through an often arduous process to obtain appropriate mental health care for their children. They often found it difficult to understand the process to obtain help and encountered numerous obstacles. Greater focus on supporting parents in their critical role of identifying mental health problems in their children and gaining early access to appropriate mental health care is needed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Mental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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