BYU study finds men support seeking help for depression

Men responding to a national survey administered by BYU grad student Doug Wendt showed support for other men getting help when suffering from depression.

Wendt's study quantified the importance of depressed men seeking help from friends or family a 7.7 rating on a scale from 1 to 10.

The number bucks stereotypes of men feeling like they're "too tough" or "too proud" to get help. It's also of interest, researchers said, because it's very similar to the numbers expressed by women in similar studies. Men do, however, remain slightly more skeptical of seeking professional help, ranking professionals nearly equally as valuable as friends or other personal advisers. Women place more importance on the advice of professionals.

“The fact that men sort of distrust the people that know how to best help them is a barrier that we need to overcome,” BYU social work professor and study co-author Kevin Shafer said. He said short-term counseling has proved effective at relieving depression symptoms for 60 percent of men and women.

“What I think men want to know is that it is good therapy,” Wendt said. “That it is effective. That you are going to be welcome. That you can be yourself and don’t have to feel feminized or hyper-masculine.” 

BYU offers free counseling services to its students. In addition to these types of free services, Shafer said medical doctors are a capable first stop for anyone feeling like they need help dealing with their depression.

The study offered BYU officials an opportunity to remind students that it offers free counseling services.

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