Year: 2007 Source: BMJ, v.334, no.7588, (February 10, 2007), p.303-309 SIEC No: 20070209

This study explored factors influencing help-seeking for mental distress by offenders. Indepth interviews were conducted with 35 male offenders aged 18-52 before & after release. A quarter of these had been flagged as being at risk of self-harm. Most respondents reported they would not seek help from a healthcare professional if experiencing mental distress. When followed-up after release, none had sought medical help despite the fact many had considerable emotional problems. Participants were hesitant to seek help because they feared being given a formal diagnosis of mental illness, the stigma associated with such a diagnosis, a diagnosis would mean having to confront the problem, & a lack of trust in the system & authority figures. (28 refs.)