Barriers and Facilitators to Mental Health Services among Bhutanese Refugees in Central Ohio: A Mixed Methods Study
Mental health utilization
Barriers and Facilitators
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Social Work Honors Theses; 2020
Mental health concern is a consequential issue facing resettled Bhutanese refugees in the United States. Without early intervention, mental illness among this vulnerable population may lead to lifelong negative outcomes impacting the welfare of the individual, the family, and the entire community. Research shows that mental health outcomes are closely tied to barriers to mental health services among the Bhutanese refugee community. The current study seeks to identify barriers and facilitators to mental health services among the Bhutanese Refugee community in the Central Ohio region. Using a two-phased explanatory sequential mixed methods design, this study aims to understand the concept of mental health from the Bhutanese refugee community context, symptoms and experience of mental health issues, cultural context of mental health, and barriers and facilitators to accessing and utilizing mental health services. Using an explanatory sequential design, data were collected through a quantitative survey (N=40) and a virtual focus group discussion (N=6). Findings of the study showed that that mental health is a significant problem among Bhutanese refugees. There is a persistent cultural stigma surrounding mental health in the Bhutanese community (92%). The community's understanding of mental health is tied to traumatic historical experiences, which affects cultural stigma around the issue of mental health and those who experience mental health. Although, the community experiences mental health collectively, it remains unexpressed and unaddressed due to the cultural stigma surrounding mental health. The barriers to seeking mental health services include: cultural barriers, but also persistent gaps in culturally responsive services. Facilitators to seeking and utilization of services is for medical providers to go beyond the traditional counseling methods of treatment. Findings provide several implications. Mental health education needs to be culturally grounded using culturally appropriate methods. Providers need to look at the root cause of trauma tied to identity and historic experiences and not just at the symptoms of mental health. There needs to be culturally responsive holistic interventions that focus on healing rather than treatment of symptoms at a community level. Providers should understand the cultural and historic context of this population in order to effectively provide tailored mental health services.
Second place in the The Ohio State University College of Social Work Outstanding Honors Research 2020
Academic Major: Social Work
The Ohio State University College of Social Work
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