Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2024; 13(1):(342-344)


Help Seeking Among Male Farmers and their Female Partners: A Qualitative Exploration

Emma Carswell, Marian McLaughlin, Tony Cassidy.

Abstract

This study explored help-seeking among male farmers and their female partners, using data collected via 16 face-to-face semi-structured interviews. Eight male farmers and eight female partners aged 26-56 years were recruited. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Seven main themes were identified, healthcare, self-protection, costs, support, roles, accessibility, and community. Both partners valued healthcare but identified barriers to enacting help seeking. Stigma and fear of embarrassment and disclosure led to selfprotection through avoidance of help seeking. A community culture of masculinity mitigated against disclosure and help seeking though females were more open to change. Males were more reluctant to discuss mental health and focused mainly on physical healthcare. Time and cost were also restrictive but support enabled help seeking. It is suggested that a social ecological model should be applied and there is a need to provide a more farming friendly primary care.

What is known:
• Males are reluctant to talk about mental health.
• Males are reluctant to seek help.
• There are high levels of suicide among farmers.

What this paper adds:
• Male farmers and their female partners value help-seeking
• Male farmers and their female partners avoid help-seeking for reasons on self-protection.
The farming community culture mitigates against help-seeking.

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