Trends in Mental Health and Challenges Experienced by South Asian Diaspora
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The objective of this literature review was to investigate the mental health trends of the South Asian diaspora. Past research conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada indicates South Asians struggle with common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety and are less likely to seek psychological help. The healthy immigrant effect suggests that immigrants face unique stressors including acculturative stress and challenges such as loss of social status and support, which can predict poor psychological being. South Asian values of shame and honour can perpetuate stigma, in addition to structural barriers which prevent individuals from seeking help. These factors have been cited by South Asian youth, women and aging individuals. South Asians are also more likely to report psychological distress as somatic symptoms and have non-Western conceptualizations of mental health. Although limited in number, literature highlights the importance of incorporating family and community-based interventions, education for practitioners to increase culturally-informed practices, and awareness campaigns to combat the stigma within South Asian communities. Future research should focus on identifying the needs and investigate the mental health of South Asians living in Canada to further guide treatment and advocacy efforts.