Understanding Choices and Challenges of Mental Health Services Among Asian Adults

Sukanya Ray, Ph.D (Suffolk University), Sophia Kozlowsky
(Suffolk University), Jiyun Lim (Suffolk University)

In recent years, there is an increased need for research on health disparities and utilization of mental health services among various ethnic groups including Asians. Although very few researches have focused on sociocultural determinants of health, the current health crisis following pandemic calls for better insight into this complex area. This proposal attempts to highlight specific barriers, culture-specific values and preferences for mental health services among adults from Asian backgrounds. This preliminary research focused on exploring utilization of both traditional as well as culturally familiar alternative health practices and their psychosocial correlates including experience of discrimination. We used a mixed method approach to collect online data (survey and narrative) from one hundred and twenty adult participants living in USA. Preliminary analyses of results indicated positive relationship between perceived barriers (individual/cultural level), discrimination experiences and utilization of both traditional and culture-specific alternative health practices. Moreover, narrative themes indicated cultural stigma, multiple barriers to access mental health services and need for culturally and linguistic skills among providers. Finally, presenters will discuss both research and clinical implications to address community need and reduce health disparities among Asians at large.

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