How do People From the Indian Gujarati Community Make Sense of Help-Seeking for Mental Health Problems

Prof Doc Thesis

Patel, Nisha 2016. How do People From the Indian Gujarati Community Make Sense of Help-Seeking for Mental Health Problems. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Psychology
AuthorsPatel, Nisha
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Background: Ensuring equal access and good quality care for minority ethnic groups has been a long standing concern for mental health services in the UK. The South Asian community are a minority group who are significantly under-represented in mental health services. Various factors have been suggested to account for their limited help-seeking. However, the existing research concerning South Asian communities has homogenised this group, this is problematic as it does not allow for the heterogeneity between South Asian subgroups to be attended to. Little is known about how individual South Asian subgroups, make sense of help-seeking for mental health problems. The objectives of this study were to explore how the Indian Gujarati community, a specific South Asian subgroup, understand mental health, where they go to seek help for mental health problems and the factors that facilitate or hinder them in seeking help.
Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine Indian Gujarati people recruited from the community. Transcripts were analysed employing thematic analysis underpinned by a critical realist epistemology.
Results: Five main themes emerged from the analysis: ‘Constructions and causes of mental health problems’; ‘Religion: An integral role’; ‘Family: Honour and reputation’; ‘Community: A means of support & safety and ‘Professional services: Challenges and vision’.
Conclusions: Participants’ reported family and community to be the sources from which they would seek help from for mental health problems. Religion was viewed as being fundamental in both understanding and managing distress. A number of barriers were identified as impeding help-seeking from the statutory services in this community. Integration of community groups and statutory services was highlighted as being vital in improving access and appropriateness of services. The implications of the findings at clinical, service and research level are discussed.

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Publication dates
PrintMay 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Nov 2016
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