An Anglo-Australian online survey revealed the top three reasons why men are less likely to access help and support from services and social projects.
Frontline professionals working with men in healthcare, social work and mental health services have agreed that men are getting less help because fewer support services are targeted directly at them, which contributes to men’s shorter life expectancy.
The research, carried out by Helping Men in the UK and Men’s Health Services Australia, also found that services for men receive less funding than those for women. A third barrier for men is that most services are female-orientated and make men feel at unease in a female environment.
As a starting point for their survey, the researchers compiled a list of ten barriers that men and boys face when receiving support, based on a review of research by organisations like Age Concern, Mind UK, the Men’s Health Forum, Samaritans, the European Men’s Health Forum and Mankind UK.
Health care professionals both from the UK and Australia rated these barriers, considering which were most relevant in their experience, on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 meaning ‘strongly agree’ and 1 indicating ‘strongly disagree’. Even though the study was conducted with a small sample of 37 UK frontline workers and 44 Australian professionals, clear trends became visible.
UK workers ranked social barriers higher, stating that men and women deal differently with problems and men are socially conditioned as strong, independent and not in need of help. Australian experts considered systemic barriers more relevant, such as the unavailability of services for men due to restrictive opening hours and the failure to market services to men. However, social stigmas and the ‘male pride’ were less seen as obstacles.
The results of the survey clearly reflect Big Lottery’s report on ‘Invisible Men: engaging more men in social projects’, which stresses the issue that men are more resistant to seeking help from others. It also points out that men are less likely than women to take time off work to seek help and therefore need services with flexible opening hours. The outcome of the online survey underlines Big Lottery’s recommendation to specifically target men and to reach them in environments, which are mainly considered as female domains.
Page created on April 4th, 2013
Page updated on April 5th, 2013