Service Users Forum: Help shape our services by joining our service user forum and let us know how we can improve - Find out more

Service User Involvement
Urgent help Donate

Five barriers to better mental health - and what Solent Mind is doing to overcome them.

Good mental health shouldn’t be a luxury, but too many people face challenges that put it out ofreach. Here are five common barriers to accessing mental health treatment, and what we’re doing atSolent Mind to overcome them.

1. Age

Many children and young people face barriers to accessing mental health services due to a lack of provision in schools or difficulties in navigating the complex mental health system. Through Heads Up, we provide tailor-made workshops and assemblies for children in theirown setting, educating them about mental health and equipping them with strategies so they can manage their own wellbeing.

2. Gender

In England, around one in eight men have a common mental health problem, and three times as many men as women die from suicide. Yet, men are less likely than women to discuss or seek help or mental health problems due to factors such as the stigma associated with mental health problems and traditional masculine ideals making it harder for them to speak up. To increase awareness about men’s mental health in Hampshire, and get more men talking openly and honestly about issues, we host a men’s mental health chat show called Let’s Talk Mate. Learn more and listen here.

3. Location

Mental health service provision varies greatly across different regions of the UK; there may be a shortage of mental health professionals or a lack of specialist services. It’s important to us that we remain adept and flexible, opening new services and regularly engaging with our local community to find out how we can be more accessible to people living even in the hardest-to-reach areas of Hampshire.

4. Ethnicity

People from minority and ethnic groups experience poorer mental health than others, yet they face additional barriers to accessing mental health services due to factors such as language barriers, cultural stigma and discrimination. Our Impact and Inclusion team has recently been focusing on supporting refugees and people seeking asylum in Southampton; they have been gaining an understanding of people’s needs and the barriers they face in accessing services, and will be running pilots to overcome these barriers soon.

5. Socio-economic status

A person’s socio-economic status can make it difficult for them to access the support and respect they deserve - the biggest reasons for this being cost, lack of transportation and competing demands on their time.

We’re proud to be able to say that our services are free to everyone, and we provide outreach support for people who are unable to come to us because of transportation barriers or conflicting commitments. Our vision is for a world where anyone who is experiencing a mental health issue can easily access the support and respect they deserve - no matter their age, gender, location, ethnicity or socio-economic status. We’re taking great steps towards bringing this vision to life, but there is more work to be done.

If you or someone you know is facing barriers to getting treatment for a mental health problem, visit 'Our Services' page to find out how we can help.


Download and display our free poster at your business, work, school or community group to help promote equality in mental health.

Back to all news Become a member