Understanding Help-Seeking Reticence


Anecdotally, men are more reticent to ask for help when they need it and our imminent research report From Couch to Community seeks to understand this more fully.

This excerpt from the emerging report shares data from our second annual Table survey and is a powerful affirmation that being a member of a Table has a profound impact on men taking up more useful help-seeking when feeling stuck or troubled.

The 2021 Annual Men’s Table membership survey was completed by 98 men across 12 Tables. Of the surveyed men, the average duration at a Table was 11.9 months, with a median of 15 months.

Men were asked two questions about their experience of mental health and suicidality in the previous year:

In the past 12 months have you experienced mental health issues or been concerned about your mental health?

Have you had times when you’ve felt life isn’t worth living?

Additionally, a series of questions were asked relating to men’s typical help-seeking approaches before being at a Table, and since joining a Table.

The options presented were clustered in two categories of behaviours and attitudes: a set of 4 less helpful, and 4 more helpful strategies. The framing of ‘help-seeking’ was ‘getting support or help when you felt stuck or troubled.’

Responses demonstrated significant changes in men’s help-seeking tendencies since they had joined a Table. Overall, 45% of respondents engaged in one of the less helpful approaches before being at a Table. After being at a Table, only 11% of surveyed men used less helpful approaches. 32% of men used one or more of the more helpful approaches before joining a Table. After a year of participation, the use of more helpful strategies had increased to 66% of respondents.

In the year in which these responses were recorded, 53% of members had experienced a mental health issue and 19% had experienced the feeling that life is not worth living.

Participation in a Table does not remove life’s challenges; it does however improve the ability to self-disclose and to seek help.

To request an advance copy of From Couch to Community please contact us.

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