Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 98–106

Stressors and Barriers to Using Mental Health Services Among Diverse Groups of First-Generation Immigrants to the United States

  • Fay Saechao
  • Sally Sharrock
  • Daryn Reicherter
  • James D. Livingston
  • Alexandra Aylward
  • Jill Whisnant
  • Cheryl Koopman
  • Sarita Kohli
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10597-011-9419-4

Cite this article as:
Saechao, F., Sharrock, S., Reicherter, D. et al. Community Ment Health J (2012) 48: 98. doi:10.1007/s10597-011-9419-4

Abstract

This study examined stressors and barriers to using mental health services among first-generation immigrants in San Jose, California. Focus groups for 30 immigrants from Cambodia, Eastern Europe, Iran, Iraq, Africa, and Vietnam were audio-recorded, translated and transcribed. Two researchers coded the data and identified themes pertaining to mental health stressors and barriers. Six primary stressors were identified: economic, discrimination, acculturation due to language differences, enculturation, parenting differences, and finding suitable employment. Primary barriers included: stigma, lack of a perceived norm in country of origin for using mental health services, competing cultural practices, lack of information, language barriers, and cost. A conceptual model is presented that may be used to inform the design and implementation of mental health services for this population.

Keywords

ImmigrantMental health servicesStressBarriers

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fay Saechao
    • 1
  • Sally Sharrock
    • 1
  • Daryn Reicherter
    • 2
  • James D. Livingston
    • 1
  • Alexandra Aylward
    • 2
  • Jill Whisnant
    • 2
  • Cheryl Koopman
    • 2
  • Sarita Kohli
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Survivors of TortureAsian Americans for Community InvolvementSan JoseUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University, School of MedicinePalo AltoUSA