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Article

Improving Mental Health Help-Seeking Behaviours for Male Students: A Framework for Developing a Complex Intervention

1
Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London, London SE5 8AF, UK
2
Department of Population Health and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London, London SE1 9RT, UK
3
School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences, King’s College London, London SE1 9NH, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 4965; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144965
Received: 11 June 2020 / Revised: 29 June 2020 / Accepted: 7 July 2020 / Published: 9 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicidal Behavior as a Complex Dynamical System)
Men are less likely to seek help for mental health difficulties and this process is often used to help explain the disproportionally higher suicide rates compared to women. Furthermore, university students are often regarded as a vulnerable population group with a lower propensity to seek help. Thus, male students are a very high-risk group that is even more reluctant to seek help for mental health difficulties, placing them at high risk of suicide. Often, student mental health problems are highlighted in the media, but very few evidence-based solutions specifically designed for male students exist. The current paper seeks to provide a comprehensive framework about how to better design mental health interventions that seek to improve male students’ willingness to access psychological support. The Medical Research Council’s (MRC’s) framework for developing a complex intervention was used to develop an intervention relevant to male students. In this paper, previous help-seeking interventions and their evaluation methods are first described, secondly, a theoretical framework outlining the important factors male students face when accessing support, and thirdly, how these factors can be mapped onto a model of behaviour change to inform the development of an evidence-based intervention are discussed. Finally, an example intervention with specific functions and behaviour change techniques is provided to demonstrate how this framework can be implemented and evaluated. It is hoped that this framework can be used to help reduce the disparity between male and female students seeking mental health support. View Full-Text
Keywords: help-seeking; men; interventions; students; mental health; COM-B; MRC complex intervention help-seeking; men; interventions; students; mental health; COM-B; MRC complex intervention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sagar-Ouriaghli, I.; Godfrey, E.; Graham, S.; Brown, J.S.L. Improving Mental Health Help-Seeking Behaviours for Male Students: A Framework for Developing a Complex Intervention. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 4965. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144965

AMA Style

Sagar-Ouriaghli I, Godfrey E, Graham S, Brown JSL. Improving Mental Health Help-Seeking Behaviours for Male Students: A Framework for Developing a Complex Intervention. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(14):4965. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144965

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sagar-Ouriaghli, Ilyas, Emma Godfrey, Selina Graham, and June S.L. Brown 2020. "Improving Mental Health Help-Seeking Behaviours for Male Students: A Framework for Developing a Complex Intervention" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 14: 4965. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17144965

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