JOURNAL ARTICLE

Factors that influence Asian communities' access to mental health care

Dianne Wynaden, Rose Chapman, Angelica Orb, Sunita McGowan, Zenith Zeeman, SiewHo Yeak
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing 2005, 14 (2): 88-95
15896255
This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study to identify factors that influence Asian communities' access to mental health care and how mental health care is delivered to them. Semistructured interviews were completed with Asian community members/leaders and health-care professionals. Content analysis identified major themes. Participants also completed a demographic data sheet. The research aimed to provide health professionals with an increased understanding of the values and beliefs held by people from Asian communities regarding the cause and treatment of mental illness. Data analysis identified six main themes that influenced Asian communities' access to mental health care and how mental health care is delivered to them. They were: shame and stigma; causes of mental illness; family reputation; hiding up; seeking help; and lack of collaboration. The findings highlighted that people from Asian communities are unwilling to access help from mainstream services because of their beliefs, and that stigma and shame are key factors that influence this reluctance. The findings also highlight that the mental health needs of refugee women are significant, and that they comprise a vulnerable group within Australian society.

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