“We’re Going Through a Lot of Struggles That People Don’t Even Know About”: The Need to Understand African American Males’ Help-Seeking for Mental Health on Multiple Levels

Michael A. Lindsey, Arik V. Marcell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Young adult Black males face challenges related to addressing their mental health needs, yet there is much more to know about their help-seeking experiences. Twenty-seven Black males, recruited from four community-based organizations, participated in four focus groups to explore perceptions of help-seeking for mental health. Identified themes, which function at individual, social network, community, and health care system levels, may facilitate or hinder Black males’ mental health help-seeking. Themes included (a) “taking care of it oneself” as opposed to seeking help from someone; (b) issues engaging sources of help, including the ability to trust providers or the relationship closeness with social network members; and (c) “tipping points” that activate help-seeking to avert crises. Study findings provide initial evidence about the importance of addressing mental health interventions for Black males on multiple levels beyond the individual including engaging men’s social supports, community, and the health care system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-364
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • African American males
  • help-seeking
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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