A Case Series Study of Help-Seeking among Younger and Older Men in Suicidal Crisis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jul 8;18(14):7319. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18147319.


Due to the continuing high suicide rates among young men, there is a need to understand help-seeking behaviour and engagement with tailored suicide prevention interventions. The aim of this study was to compare help-seeking among younger and older men who attended a therapeutic centre for men in a suicidal crisis. In this case series study, data were collected from 546 men who were referred into a community-based therapeutic service in North West England. Of the 546 men, 337 (52%) received therapy; 161 (48%) were aged between 18 and 30 years (mean age 24 years, SD = 3.4). Analyses included baseline differences, symptom trajectories for the CORE-34 Clinical Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), and engagement with the therapy. For the CORE-OM, there was a clinically significant reduction in mean scores between assessment and discharge (p < 0.001) for both younger and older men. At initial assessment, younger men were less affected by entrapment (46% vs. 62%; p = 0.02), defeat (33% vs. 52%; p = 0.01), not engaging in new goals (38% vs. 47%; p = 0.02), and positive attitudes towards suicide (14% vs. 18%; p = 0.001) than older men. At discharge assessment, older men were significantly more likely to have an absence of positive future thinking (15% vs. 8%; p = 0.03), have less social support (45% vs. 33%; p = 0.02), and feelings of entrapment (17% vs. 14%; p = 0.02) than younger men. Future research needs to assess the long-term effects of help-seeking using a brief psychological intervention for young men in order to understand whether the effects of the therapy are sustainable over a period of time following discharge from the service.

Keywords: community-based intervention; engagement; help-seeking; men; suicide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Research
  • Social Support
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Young Adult