Understanding and responding to remote mental health help-seeking by gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in the U.K. and Republic of Ireland: a mixed-method study conducted in the context of COVID-19

Dimitra Eleftheria Strongylou, Paul Flowers, Ruth McKenna, Ross Andrew Kincaid, Dan Clutterbuck, Mohamed Ahmed Hammoud, Julian Heng, Yvonne Kerr, Lisa McDaid, Jamie Scott Frankis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) are at far greater risk of experiencing poor mental health (MH) than wider society. This disparity was exacerbated by additional ‘unique to sexual minority status’ COVID-19stressors.

Objective: This sequential, mixed-methods study examined remote MH help-seeking among GBMSM in the U.K. and Ireland during the first COVID-19 lockdown.

Methods and Results: Quantitative survey data (n = 1368), analysed with logistic regression, suggested GBMSM experiencing moderate-to-severe anxiety and those with a past MH diagnosis were most likely to seek MH support. Thematic analysis of qualitative interview (n = 18) data identified multiple barriers and enablers to GBMSM seeking remote MH help, with the help primarily sought from GBMSM-facing organisations and generic online resources. Finally, the behaviour change wheel was used to generate theoretically informed recommendations to promote MH help-seeking among GBMSM in Scotland.

Implications: We discuss how applying these recommendations in the short, medium and long term will begin to address GBMSM’s MH needs, post COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-378
Number of pages22
JournalHealth Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
Volume10
Issue number1
Early online date5 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • mental health
  • COVID-19 recovery
  • GBMSM
  • behaviour change wheel
  • gay and bisexual men

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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