Thousands of studies have been conducted on the factors that influence who will or who won’t seek help for a mental health problem.  These studies have looked at hundreds of different help-seeking factors/variables/constructs such as “help seeking attitudes” and “self-stigma of seeking help” that are thought to be the precursors/determinants/causes/predictors of actual help seeking behavior.

However, most people are not aware of all of these different help-seeking factors that have been empirically studied by scientists.  Therefore, we wanted to create a “Mind Map” of these help-seeking factors.  A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information in two dimensional space.  By looking at this mind map, we hope to raise awareness of all of the different help-seeking factors that may be worth investigating and targeting with clinical and prevention interventions.  The Mind Map has the names of the factors, arrows connecting factors that have been shown to correlate with each other, and the factors are arrayed (roughly) in causal order from left to right.

You can download and view the latest version of the Help-Seeking Factors Mind Map (Version 1.1, Revised 7-21-2018) in several ways.

Help-Seeking Factors Mind Map (v1.1)
Help-Seeking Factors Mind Map (v1.1)

To learn which published studies examined which sets of factors in this Mind Map, check out the Help-Seeking Factors Mind Map Citations Table, which you can also download as an Excel file. This table contains information about what factor relationships have been studied, what instruments/subscales were used to measure those factors, the APA-style citation for the studies used to build the Mind Map, and (for certain studies) the effect size of the relationship between two given factors.

This resource was created on behalf of the HAMMER Lab by Chase Herndon.  Because there are thousands of help seeking studies and this Mind Map only incorporates about 20 of them, we hope to expand the Mind Map over time to include more studies that examined additional variables.  If you would like to add additional studies to this Mind Map (and the Citations Table) and have the updated version posted to this webpage, please email Dr. Hammer to discuss a plan.

Lastly, here is a much larger list of variables/constructs/factors that have been measured and/or discussed in the help seeking and treatment access literature: the Help Seeking & Treatment Access Variables, Factors, Constructs List.  It’s not exhaustive, but it is a great way to get a sense for the huge variety of things that have been discussed in relation to help seeking.