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Exploring older males perceptions of help seeking in relation to mental health and depression.

Moore, Emily (2017) Exploring older males perceptions of help seeking in relation to mental health and depression. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The research aimed to explore older men’s perceptions of mental health, depression and help seeking. A qualitative approach was followed; using semi-structured interviews of six males, aged 45-59 who are members of the Men’s Shed association. My research objectives were to understand how these men construct mental health. What their perceptions were about help seeking and what factors might have influenced their help seeking perceptions. A thematic analysis was conducted, and the first theme identified was ‘Masculinity as a barrier to help seeking’ and was an integrated theme throughout. The second theme ‘Self-Reliance as a barrier to help seeking’ and the third theme ‘Constructing therapeutic talk as women’s work: ‘Women can cry and have feelings but we can’t so’. The fourth theme was ‘Masculinity: Restricting therapeutic talk’. We then explored what would encourage these men to seek help: ‘Entering therapeutic talk: Entering the shed’ and then finally what we have learnt to ‘Bridge the Gap’. The implications of the findings are discussed below, regarding the impact that masculinity has on help seeking perceptions and possible actions considered, in terms of the Men’s shed as a community therapeutic project

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