Despite the high prevalence of mental illness worldwide, people often do not receive adequate care and treatment. This study determined the help-seeking behaviors, prior to attending a psychiatric outpatient clinic, among Turkish patients (N = 225) with mental illness. Prior to attending the clinic, 29.3% of patients surveyed indicated they used self-implementation techniques, 17.78% consulted someone other than a physician, and 9.3% visited special healing sites other than hospitals. More than 50% used alternative therapies rather than conventional treatment. Mental health nurses must be aware of these health-seeking behaviors when planning individualized patient care and treatment. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.