Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, 43:866

Ethnic differences in mental health service use among White, Chinese, South Asian and South East Asian populations living in Canada


DOI: 10.1007/s00127-008-0373-6

Cite this article as:
Tiwari, S.K. & Wang, J. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2008) 43: 866. doi:10.1007/s00127-008-0373-6



Health services in Canada are publicly funded. However, the use of health services, especially mental health services, by ethnic minority groups in Canada, has not been well studied.


The objectives of the study were to estimate the 12-month prevalence of mental health service use by ethnicities, overall and among those with major depression, and to identify factors associated with mental health services use in different ethnic groups in Canada.


Data from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS-1.1) were used. Participants included in this analysis were white who were born in Canada (n = 108,192), white immigrants (n = 10,892), Chinese (n = 1,785), South Asian (n = 1,214), and South East Asian immigrants (n = 818). Participants were selected using multiple staged, stratified random sampling procedures from household residents aged 12 years or older in ten provinces.


White people were more likely to have used mental health services than Chinese participants and those from South Asian and South East Asian regions. The Chinese participants appeared to be less likely to have used mental health services than those in the South Asian and South East Asian groups, in those without major depression.


In Canada, Asian immigrants are less likely to use mental health service use than white people. More studies are needed to examine factors affecting mental health service use in Asian immigrants living in North America.


ethnic differencesmental health service usemajor depressive episodeprevalenceAsian immigrants

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Psychiatry, Dept. of Community Health Services, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.CalgaryCanada