23 Citations (Scopus)


This study used a mixed methodology with young offenders attending a Youth Offending Service to identify, with regard to mental health problems, perceptions of level of need, experiences of and views on support and perceptions of barriers in accessing services. Between May and September 2008, 44 young offenders completed a questionnaire about their self-reported levels of mental health need, and their behaviour, preferences and evaluation regarding different sources of support and advice for mental health issues. Six young people were interviewed about their experiences and these data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings showed that these vulnerable young people had a high level of mental health need, and were most likely to seek support from people with whom they had a confiding and long-standing relationship (parents and friends). For these young people, low levels of service use were not the result of a lack of provision, but because there were psychological, social, structural and cultural barriers to accessing those services including issues of understanding, stigma and confidentiality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-428
Number of pages9
JournalHealth & Social Care in the Community
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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