Exploring the mental health help-seeking experiences of British South Asian women and using these findings in the development of an intervention
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AbstractResearch has shown that a high number of South Asian people suffer with mental health problems and that South Asian women specifically, are at high risk of attempting self -harm or suicide. However, there seems to be a low uptake of the mainstream services offered by the South Asian community as a whole, compared to their white counterparts. Furthermore, the existing literature in this area is scarce and focuses on identifying barriers that South Asian women face in accessing help. This mixed methods study explored the mental health help seeking experiences of British born South Asian women. For the first part of the study, six (N=six) women who had successfully accessed therapy were interviewed and the qualitative data was analysed using Braun and Clarke’s (2006) framework for thematic analysis. The main superordinate themes identified included: therapy as a positive experience, perseverance and persistence, need to know basis, fears about being judged, the need for more publicising and awareness, recovery as an ongoing process, medical professionals needing to be more proactive, developing autonomy and putting your own needs first, developing understanding and the importance of the first step. Various subordinate themes were identified for some of these main superordinate themes. The second part of this study involved delivering a psycho educational workshop (which was partly based on the qualitative data generated in the first part of the study) to a group of South Asian women (N=25). Their attitude towards help seeking was measured before, immediately after and four weeks after the workshop using Fischer and Farina’s (1995) Attitudes toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale. An ANOVA Test indicated a statistically significant difference in attitudes to help seeking before, immediately after and four weeks after the workshop. This study helped to get a better understanding of the experiences of a marginalised group and demonstrated how such information can be used to develop new and innovative interventions that can be used with a client group that appear to have low levels of engagement with and referral to mental health services.
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA portfolio submitted to The University of Wolverhampton for the Practitioner Doctorate: Counselling Psychology Award: D.Couns.Psych.
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