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-19 stressors.
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.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Strongylou, D., Flowers, P., McKenna, R., Kincaid, R., Clutterbuck, D., Hammoud, M., Heng, J., Kerr, Y., McDaid, L. & Frankis, J. 2022, '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', Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 10(1), pp. 357-378. https://doi.org/10.1080/21642850.2022.2053687