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Title: A discourse analysis of men's perspectives on seeking help from mental health services
Author: Grove, Patrick
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 5477
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2005
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Recent research has indicated that men do not tend to seek help from mental health services when experiencing emotional distress. In the Introduction, I outline the men's help-seeking literature, before describing a social constructionist approach to masculinity and the possibilities of this framework for investigating the problem of men's help-seeking. I then examine literature to argue that Western conceptions of mental health and masculinity draw upon similar discourses and I suggest that men's help-seeking for emotional distress involves behaving in a way contrary to the construction of Western masculinity. This discussion leads to the present research: a discourse analysis of men's perspectives on seeking help from mental health services. The research aim was to identify which discourses and identities were available to men when they talked about help-seeking from services, and therefore to identify which individual actions and social practices seemed reasonable. I interviewed eight men, four of whom had sought help, and four who had not. In the Analysis, I examine the men's use of language and the effects that this had when accomplishing them as masculine. Similar discourses were drawn upon by both groups however these were deployed in different ways, constructing male help-seekers as masculine or not so. The analysis also demonstrates the extent of the rhetorical work that help-seekers had to employ to construct help-seeking as masculine. In the Discussion, I summarise the analysis and examine the implications for individual action and broader social practice and policy. I outline the implications for the help-seeking literature and for social constructionist understandings of masculinity. I then examine the application of my findings to individual psychological therapy and broader mental health promotion for men. I reflexively examine the research with regards to my own identity and positioning, and the validity of my reading of the transcripts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available