In order to successfully implement health and well-being programs, it is important to understand the help-seeking attitudes and behaviour of the end-users. Traditionally, men are more reluctant than women to seek help for physical and psychological problems. Young apprentices are potentially a vulnerable group as they experience a number of stressors (e.g., low wages) and are in an important transitional phase as new workers. The purpose of this qualitative project was to explore help-seeking attitudes and behaviours in a sample of young male apprentices (N = 62). Findings from 10 focus groups identify a number of key themes around young males’ strengths and barriers to seeking help. Notably, whilst young men are able to identify a number of sources of help, there is, in many instances, a reluctance to ask for help. This appears to be influenced by ideas around masculinity and the notion of selfreliance ('I can cope'). Additionally, there appears to be a predominance of female oriented helping services. Recommendations, including the future development of awareness programs focused on young workers in the building and construction industry, are discussed within the context of the study’s findings and the literature on help-seeking.
Vol. 9, no. 4 (Summer 2009), pp. 93-99