Regional conference on men’s health and well-being being
During the fifth regional conference on men’s health and well-being being held today at Centre St-Pierre, the exclusive results of a SOM survey of requests for help made by Montréal men were released.
According to the survey, 25% of men may be experiencing psychological distress, but only 29% of them report having sought help from a psychosocial service. Of greater concern, 43% of men aged 25 to 34 years may be experiencing psychological distress. In all, 1542 Montréal men completed the survey conducted in spring 2019, at the request of the regional committee on the health and well-being of Montréal men, and coordinated by CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and Regroupement des organismes pour hommes de l’Île de Montréal (ROHIM). The survey identifies factors that make it easier for these men to seek help, what induces them to consult, as well as their intervention preferences.
“It was important for us to better understand the process that induces men to acknowledge their distress and engage in a help-seeking process. In this manner, we can identify the winning conditions to support their requests for help,” said Janie Houle (Ph.D.), principal author of the survey and presenter, professor in the Department of Psychology at Université du Québec à Montréal, and researcher at Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal.
Highlights of the survey for the Montréal area
- 25% of respondents experience probable psychological distress on the six-point psychological distress scale, which measures perceived frequency of certain mental or physical states such as feeling nervous, too tired to do anything, feeling depressed, agitated or unable to keep still, good for nothing or desperate.
- Men are disinclined to consult, especially for psychosocial issues. While almost 82% reported having consulted a family doctor or specialist in the past year, only 17% said they had seen a psychosocial professional.
- Men are more likely to consult when they perceive that their problem has an impact on their children or if they have suicidal thoughts. In all, 74% of men consult if their problems have an impact on their children, and 72% if they have suicidal thoughts. Other situations that have less impact on the likelihood of consulting include having a spouse threaten to leave him (60%), spousal separation (59%), feeling depressed (61%), loss of libido (59%) or loss of a job (51%).
- For men, the most important factor that causes them to consult (40%) is feeling that the professional will really be able to help them solve the problem and that, in addition to listening to them, the professional will provide feedback, practical tools and advice.
- Low-cost or free services is considered “very helpful” by 61% of the men surveyed. Financial barriers must be removed, insofar as possible, to encourage men to seek help.
- Among Anglophone men, 66% consider it essential that services in their mother tongue be available.
- How their requests are received is also important. It is “very helpful” for some men to be able to go directly to a professional’s office on a walk-in basis (39%), or to be able to book an appointment online (43%).
- Family and friends can also assist with requesting help. Some men consider it very helpful that a family member or friend book an appointment for them (10%) or accompany them to the first session (17%).
- Doctors have significant influence. There is a 77% probability that men consult a psychosocial worker if recommended by a doctor. A doctor’s influence is greater than that of a spouse (68%) or of friends (60%).
- Finally, resources need to be better known, perhaps through a dedicated website that lists and describes resources for men. A website is the preferred communication method for 72% of survey participants.
Highlights for some territories on the Island of Montréal
- For the territory of CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, 35% of men surveyed experience probable psychological distress (25% for Montréal as a whole); 20% also assess their physical and mental health as fair or poor (10% for Montréal as a whole). However, fewer men in this territory have never accessed a resource or psychosocial professional (42% compared with50% for Montréal as a whole.
- In the territory of CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, a higher proportion of men indicate that the most important factor related to consulting a professional is that this person speaks English (18% compared with 9% for Montréal as a whole).
“Survey results will enable various health and social services facilities in Montréal to better adapt the health and well-being actions targeting men, and to consider the distinctive features of their territory and population,” stated Manon Lusignan, head of Service régional des activités communautaires et de l’itinérance and regional respondent for Montréal’s action plan for men’s health and well-being at CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. These data indicate that several factors can impact a man’s decision to consult or not in this city. “The data helps us understand what characterizes requests for help made by men in Montréal, and to provide interventions that take into account their specific realities,“ said Raymond Villeneuve, president of ROHIM.
See the full survey results (in French)
About the regional committee on the health and well-being of Montréal men
The regional committee on the health and well-being of Montréal men is composed of the five integrated university health and social services centres (CIUSSS), the five non-merged institutions in the Montréal area, and ROHIM. Its mandate is to support the implementation of Montréal’s regional action plan for the health and well-being of men, as well as the local action plans.
For more information or to request an interview
Regroupement des organismes pour hommes de l’île de Montréal
Media relations, CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.: 514-376-3748
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