Asian American Mental Health Care: With a Special Focus On the Chinese Population
The Chinese population has a high prevalence of mental illness, but the treatment gap is high; identifying the barriers to mental health services utilization can improve access and promote better mental health care. Very few empirical studies systematically examined the barriers to help-seeking in the Chinese population. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to review the literature on the utilization of mental health services by the Asian American population in order to understand the barriers in seeking professional mental health care among the Chinese. As part of this study, a mix method research survey comprising 10 demographic questions and 26 multidimensional questions pertaining to barriers for accessing mental health services was conducted. This survey combined open-ended and closed-ended questions. The results revealed that people of Chinese descent are less likely to use mental health services due to the critical influence of its culturally-oriented values and beliefs in perceptions of mental health issues and help-seeking behaviors. The practical implications include more culturally appropriate services, changing policy, and addressing stigma through interventions. Since it is a pilot study focus on preliminary data collection with a small sample to test out the survey questionnaire, so further studies with a larger sample population of Chinese especially in China should be carried out to better examine the barriers to mental health services by the former.