Experiences with professional mental health services: Indian and Pakistani Americans and Canadians
Holmes, Elizabeth A
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This study explored the presenting concerns, help-seeking attitudes, and predictors of help-seeking behaviors of individuals of Indian and Pakistani descent residing in Canada and the United States. Participants ( N = 207) completed a demographic questionnaire, the Acculturation Scale for Asian Indians, the Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Help Scale-Short Form, the Perceived Social Support-Friends and Family Scales, a brief help-seeking questionnaire, and the Source of Referral Questionnaire online. Common presenting concerns in the sample included conflict with others and somatizations of depressive and anxious symptoms. Friends were the most common sources of help in the past and were rated the most helpful. Participants were more likely to turn to family or friends than mental health counselors for help in the future. However, they were also most likely to recommend counseling to friends with similar presenting concerns. Preliminary analyses revealed that individuals who identified less strongly with Indo-Pakistani cultural values, felt less supported by family members, and held positive attitudes towards mental health counseling were more likely to have sought help from a mental health counselor. A logistic regression analysis revealed that lacking social support from family and identifying less strongly with Indo-Pakistani cultural values were significant predictors of seeking help from a mental health care provider. Implications for practice for mental health counselors and suggestions for future research are discussed.