Theorists converge on the idea of self-concept as an internal representation of the self,
founded on experience and biology. The structural organisation as well as the content
of this self knowledge and self sense is implicated in how, or even if we respond to
incoming information, and what meanings, feelings and behaviours will result.
Certain models of organisation have also been implicated in vulnerability to
The propensity to look for help in the face of a problem has been found to covary
with factors such as culture, power differentials, and gender. Men are traditionally
seen as less likely to seek help given a problem. Suicide amongst men, by often very
violent and lethal methods have risen dramatically in the last two decades of last
century, with farmers being most at risk. Young men are the least likely to seek help
from health professionals before taking this final step.
This study looks at the way a man organises his self view, and how this relates to his
likelihood to seek help for psychological distress. A help seeking questionnaire,
coupled with a measure of the organisation of self concept is administered to two
groups; one of farmers, and one of men attending an advice centre. It is proposed that
farmers will be least likely to seek help, and that those who are least likely to seek
help will be more likely to organise their self view in a way that could lead to
increased vulnerability to psychopathology. Results and implications for the design
and delivery of services are discussed.