Summary of a report presenting the finding of a survey and two focus groups on mental health, the focus of the report is on men's experiences of and attitudes towards mental health and mental health services. The research shows that men’s mental distress is a hidden problem. An examination of the evidence suggests that gender and the way we are socialised into different cultural norms could be having a big impact on the way men interact with mental health services. The image of the tough, resilient male who hides emotion is deeply ingrained in society and may effect men’s help-seeking behaviour.
Services should consider how best to engage men in treatment and support. The research showed that men found it easier to cope with problems by doing things like going for a walk or listening to music as opposed to asking for help through sharing and talking about their problems. When men did feel able to seek help the research found that men’s groups, anonymous support and online information were helpful. More research is needed into this area but the findings of this report have implications for the kinds of talking treatments and alternatives that might be most appropriate for men.