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Men and distress: Experiences of help seeking, coping and self-management

Vickery, Alexandra 2020. Men and distress: Experiences of help seeking, coping and self-management. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis explores men’s mental distress, attempting to move away from narratives that have consistently focused on problems to do with men and masculinity. Using a mixed methods approach, this research examines men’s formal and informal help-seeking practices as well as effective daily coping and management strategies. In the first empirical chapter I begin by examining the contextual factors that predict men’s formal mental health help seeking from the GP using a secondary analysis of the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Study (2007). The main empirical component of the thesis is based on a series of semi-structured interviews, with a diverse range of men from the general public (n=19) and men who have accessed support groups for emotional difficulties (n=19), all living in Wales. Using a thematic analysis of the interviews I continue the exploration of formal help-seeking practices (chapter seven) and then move to focus specifically on men’s experiences of support groups (chapter eight). In chapter nine, the focus turns to the more informal, everyday practices of coping and managing of distress. The findings of this research highlight the different things men do in their help seeking for distress, observing at times, the flexible use of masculinities, and, challenging the dominant discourse about help-seeking. In their everyday lives, men engage with their mental health and adopt a range of positive coping strategies in attempts to manage any difficulties faced. This thesis provides only a snapshot of men’s experiences and many men today may still find it difficult to open up and seek help for distress for a number of reasons. However, this thesis attempts to acknowledge and commend men when they do positively engage with their mental health and wellbeing. Through doing this we can learn how to best support men in need.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 January 2020
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2020 02:22

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