Journal of Community Health

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 411-425

First online:

Investigating the Use of Services for Vietnamese with Mental Illness

  • Tuong PhanAffiliated withFaculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University

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An ethnographic-based interview was conducted with 324 Vietnamese-speaking adult caregivers living in the New South Wales state of Australia, focusing on types of services used for identifying and/or intervening for binh tam than (mental ill-health), difficulties encountered, and recommendations for enhancing services. Almost one in two interviewees (n = 158) had used such services during the previous twelve months, including those provided by local Vietnamese-speaking doctors (100%), Asian naturalists, spiritual healers, witchcraft doctors, herbalists, and folk healers (>50%), as well as mainstream psychiatric hospital facilities (50%) and community services (>30%). Descriptive data on the difficulties and recommendations were related to four major domains: accessibility, acceptability, accommodation, and affordability, explaining patterns of caregivers' help-seeking behaviors and their choices of services.

service utilization mental health Vietnamese traditional healers culture-specific health seeking