Background: Individuals differ whether they are healthy or not. They have different personalities and lifestyles, so that consequences of an illness are perceived in individual ways. Therefore, they use to seek different types of help.
Aim: To explore the way in which self-reliance and self-respect affect help-seeking behaviour of individuals suffering from mental health problems.
Method: A self-report questionnaire was administered and completed by a total of 290 participants who sought help from the Community Mental Health Centre (CMHC) during 2003-2007.
Participants: The total sample was divided into those who had sought help from other mental health care service prior to their visit to CMHC (former visitors: group A) and those who visited a mental health care service for the first time in their live (first-time-visitors, group B).
Results: Subjects who totally believed that help-seeking is an acknowledgment of one’s insufficiency and inability, had the most positive attitudes towards help- seeking from a mental health professional, the most positive orientation towards the utilization of social support network and the greatest fear for mental health interventions, in both groups A and B. Moreover, in group B, the aforementioned acknowledgement was directly related with subject’s positive opinions about psychiatry, but these patients would also wait for longer until they ask for help for their first time.
Conclusions: Exploring the factors affecting the process of help- seeking may offer useful information to the mental health professionals, enabling them to detect the individuals with mental health problems and to intervene in earlier stages.
Key- words: help-seeking, mental health, self- esteem, self-reliance