Stigma and help-seeking behaviours of men with depression: a literature review
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Stigma and help-seeking behaviours of men with depression: a literature review

Kayleigh Covello Registered Mental Health Nurse, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand why men are less frequently diagnosed with depression than women, but are at higher risk of suicide

  • To recognise the factors that can discourage men from engaging in help-seeking behaviours

  • To consider strategies that could be used to improve men’s engagement in mental health services and interventions

In the UK, more women are being treated for depression than men, yet men are up to three times more likely to die by suicide. It has been suggested that stigma has a role in the lower rate of depression diagnosis in men and may reduce the likelihood of them engaging in help-seeking behaviours.

This article discusses a literature review of the available evidence on the help-seeking behaviours of men with depression. The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO and Medline databases were searched, and a total of 18 articles were included in the review. Following analysis, two themes emerged: social stigma and self-stigma, both of which were found to affect help-seeking behaviours. Therefore, it is important for healthcare professionals to consider the factors that can influence stigma and help-seeking behaviour, and for mental health services to be accessible and appealing to men with depression.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2020.e1474

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Covello K (2020) Stigma and help-seeking behaviours of men with depression: a literature review. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2020.e1474

Published online: 19 May 2020

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