Young men’s access to community-based mental health care: qualitative analysis of barriers and facilitators

Simon M. Rice, Nic R. Telford, Debra J. Rickwood, Alexandra G. Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Young men experiencing mental ill health report the lowest rates of professional help-seeking of any demographic group across the lifespan. This phase of life (i.e. adolescence and emerging adulthood) also corresponds to a period of disconnection from healthcare services for young men. Aims: The present exploratory qualitative study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to mental health care, as identified by a sample of young help-seeking men and staff involved in mental health service provision. Method: Interviews and focus groups were undertaken with 25 young males (mean = 18.80 years, SD =3.56) and four service providers. Participants were recruited from headspace enhanced primary care early intervention centres in Australia. Results: Thematic analysis indicated four overarching barriers and facilitators. The identified barriers were male role expectations, talk therapy as unknown territory, difficulties navigating the system and intake processes. The identified facilitators were positive initial contact, effective cross-sector partnerships, availability of male practitioners and use of targeted messaging. Conclusions: Given the ongoing low rates of help-seeking, high rates of suicide and other adverse outcomes for young men, priority research and clinical attention is needed for this group. Recommendations are offered for future research, including suggestions for implementation of targeted strategies addressing gender-based health needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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