A sample of 111 male prisoners returned a questionnaire which assessed helpseeking intentions, psychological distress, treatment fearfulness and attitudes toward professional psychological helpseeking. Results indicated that more favourable attitudes were associated with increased helpseeking intentions. In general, non-Maori inmates and those with positive prior helpseeking experiences had more positive attitudes and higher helpseeking intentions than those who had neutral or negative prior helpseeking experiences. Contrary to expectations male prisoners had lower helpseeking intentions for "suicidal thoughts" than for a "personal-emotional problem". © 1999 Kluwer Academic Publishers.