Background: Despite some evidence for the effectiveness of self-help approaches and their recommended use in recent NICE guidance for anxiety and depression, more research is needed into service users' views of self-help materials and their effectiveness in different service settings, including self-help groups. Aim: To obtain the views of a group of mental health service users who attended a self-help organization of (a) a self-help anxiety pack, (b) the impact it had on their coping, and (c) the impact on them of the user consultation exercise. Method: The views were obtained through focus groups using a semi-structured interview schedule and were then subject to qualitative template analysis. Results: The emergent themes included recommendations for improving the pack by making it briefer, more readable and less technical. Other clear themes were the value of working with the pack as a group and concerns about individuals being able to make use of the pack without support and guidance. The implications of these findings for the development and implementation of self-help approaches for mental health problems and research with community-based self-help groups are discussed. Conclusions: Service user views of self-help approaches can inform the development of accessible and acceptable materials and clarify the support required to make effective use of the material. Declaration of interest: This study was funded by the University of Huddersfield.