Correlates of a perceived need for mental health assistance and differences between those who do and do not seek help

  • J. Rabinowitz
  • R. Gross
  • D. Feldman


Background: This study examined prevalence of perceived need for mental health assistance, characteristics of people with a perceived need, and how persons with a need who sought help were different from those who did not.

Methods: A national random phone survey (n = 1,394) was conducted in Israel, which included questions about (1) perceived need for mental health assistance and (2) help seeking.

Results: Prevalence of life-time and recent perceived need for males was 21% and 10.7%, and for females 31% and 15.1%. Of those with a perceived need, 31.4% of males and 41.6% of females had gone for help. Based on logistic regression models, the variables associated with need were being female, divorced, having a chronic physical disease, and low income (for males only), while predictors of help seeking were living in a big city and not being a recent immigrant. The major sources of help in descending order were: mental health professionals (46%), family physician (25%), family or friends (19%), and other (10%).

Conclusions: A majority of people who feel that they need help for mental health problems do not get help.


Mental Health Logistic Regression Regression Model Health Problem Health Professional 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Rabinowitz
    • 1
  • R. Gross
    • 2
  • D. Feldman
    • 3
  1. 1.Bar-Ilan University, Ranat Gan, IsraelIL
  2. 2.JDC-Brookdale Institute, Jerusalem, IsraelIL
  3. 3.State of Israel Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, IsraelIL

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