Physicians’ views on men's mental health and the role of counselling services – a pilot study

Jeffrey M. Smith, Steve Robertson, Bruce Houghton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


This pilot study aimed to explore how physicians understand men's avoidance of mental health counselling services and to elicit physicians’ views on pairing mental health assessment with routine physical examination. Initially, physicians’ views on men's avoidance of mental health counselling services were explored through a focus group. A short survey exploring views on pairing mental health assessment with a routine physical examination was then developed and sent to 125 physicians at a local medical centre. Physicians discussions indicated that male socialisation processes, the stigma of needing help, and ignorance about counselling sessions, all contribute to men's avoidance of mental health counselling services. The survey results suggest that combining a mental health assessment with an annual physical examination was viewed positively by most physicians (80%), that they would encourage this approach (75%), and would appreciate the support of counselling services in this process (80%). However, these survey results were influenced by the age and sex of the physician. The focus group suggestion to pair mental health assessments with routine medical examinations, with support from counselling services, was viewed by most physicians as a positive way to engage men. Preliminary services could be established that utilise this approach and examine its efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalCounselling and Psychotherapy Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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