Psychological and Cultural Barriers to Counselling for South Asian Community
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It is well documented that minority groups under-utilize mental health care services when compared to the dominant social group. There are various reasons for this, most notably the association of stigma and shame with mental health issues and perceptions of mental health issues that are at odds with common western perceptions of mental health. This proposed study will look at these factors as they pertain to South East Asians living in Surrey, BC, in the hope that the study will yield further insight into the under-utilization of mental health care services among this population. The method proposed will utilize three focus groups for in-depth conversations on participants‘ perceptions and views of counselling. One group will consist of South Asian non-professionals, the second of South Asian professionals working in the field of counselling and mental health, and the third focus group members will be selected from a particular community agency interested in funding the research on this topic. Thus, perceptions of community at large, service providers, and service users are combined for an in-depth perspective on perceptions and views of counselling services by South Asians in Surrey. Semi-structured interview questions will be used to gather information from the participants and the focus groups will be audio or video recorded depending on group preference and comfort level. A thematic analysis will be utilized to highlight the emerging themes present in the literature review, and based on this; predictions will be made about findings of this proposed study. Based on the thematic analysis of the literature and the anticipated findings, anticipatory recommendations will be made.