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Mental Health Clinical Topics

Articles and other information for health care providers about topics related to mental health and culture. Includes information about refugee mental health, select populations' cultural perspectives regarding mental illness, and teaching videos about providing culturally competent care and managing stigma.

Walking Together

This free publication (114 pg, PDF) is designed for mental health professionals, clinicians and social workers who have the privilege of working with refugees. The Guide tackles important topics such as barriers to care, overcoming obstacles, clinical considerations in assessment, treatment planning, working with interpreters, medication adherence, and trauma. Produced by International Counseling and Community Services (SeaTac), a program of Lutheran Community Services Northwest.  

Mental Health Issues of Resettled Refugees
An article with some general information for health care providers about mental health issues and refugees.

Necessary Steps to Neuropsychological Evaluation
Considerations and tips for primary care providers dealing with an individual patient suspected of cognitive difficulty that may prevent him/her from successfully taking the English language or U.S. civics and history tests in order to become a naturalized citizen.

Somali Mental Health
Article by David McGraw Schuchman, MSW, LICSW. The challenges facing Somali immigrants and refugees in the Twin Cities are complex and their needs are great. Besides facing enormous cultural and language differences, African immigrants and refugees contend with racism, often have limited literacy skills, and hold jobs where they barely earn minimum wage and have difficulty providing for their families. (Originally Published in Bildhaan – An International Journal of Somali Studies; 2004; reprinted with permission).  See also 6 page PDF version of article.

Somali Refugee Mental Health Cultural Profile
Information about depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the Somali refugee community; information about common beliefs and traditional treatment for mental illness in Somalia, and advice for healthcare providers working with this refugee population.

Somali Depression Profile
Article about Somali culture and depression.

Adherence Barriers to Antidepressants among an Urban Female Latino Population
An article highlighting insights from providers and patients about risk factors, protective factors and interventions related to adherence barriers to antidepressants among urban Latinos.

Related Links

Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center: Suicide Resources
RHTAC provides several tools and resources to help address problem of suicide in refugee communities.  These include a Refugee Suicide Prevention Training Kit as well as more information about the problem of suicide in refugee communities.  

World Health Organization Guidelines on Conditions Specifically Related to Stress
WHO has released (2013) new clinical protocol and guidelines to enable effective mental health care for adults and children exposed to trauma and loss. These guidelines were developed to provide recommended management strategies for conditions specifically related to stress, including acute stress, post-traumatic stress disorder and bereavement.  

Link to WHO Guidelines

Websites of Model Curricula and Other Materials on Cultural Competence and Diversity in Mental Health
Links to websites of model curricula and other materials on cultural competence and diversity in mental health. Includes links to resources such as educational DVDs, university programs, journals, professional organizations and government reports.  Compiled by Dr. Francis Lu, October, 2010.

Gardening for Mental Health
A link to a New York Times article about a program made possible by the California Mental Health Services Act of 2004 in which community gardens and adjoining meeting spaces for immigrant communities help foster resiliency and a sense of purpose for refugees, especially older ones, who are often isolated by language and poverty and experiencing depression and post-traumatic stress.

Teaching Videos

Culturally Competent Care - A Narrated video presentation
25 minute video slide presentation with audio. Talk given in 2009 by psychiatrist Lorin Boynton at Harborview Psychiatry Chief Resident Conference to teach about approaches to providing culturally competent care to immigrant and refugee patients.

View the video by clicking the play icon (it may take some time to load, depending on the speed of your internet connection). You can also view in full screen by clicking the icon at the bottom right corner of the video player, once the video has loaded.  To view a medium-sized screen, click here.







 

 

 

 

 


Saving Face: Recognizing and Managing the Stigma of Mental Illness in Asian Americans
68 minute training video authored in 2008 by Elizabeth J. Kramer, Sc.M., New York University; and Francis G. Lu, M.D., University of California, Davis. Used here, with permission. The video is targeted to physicians, psychiatry residents, medical students, social work students and practicing social workers, clinical and counseling psychologists, nurses and case managers. The overarching goal is to demonstrate a culturally competent approach to addressing the stigma of mental illness in Asian-American patients. The video is comprised of three interviews of Asian-American simulated patients, from three major sub-ethnic groups of Asian Americans living in the United States, and ethnically matched psychiatrists in therapy sessions. The objectives of these scenarios are to demonstrate how Asian-American patients present their stigma, and how skilled clinicians manage it. See also: Facilitator's Guide (PDF) and DVD order form (PDF on website of Mental Health Association in California).

View the video by clicking the play icon (it may take some time to load, depending on the speed of your internet connection). You can also view in full screen by clicking the icon at the bottom right corner of the video player, once the video has loaded.  To view a medium-sized screen, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Indian-American case begins at 3 minutes 40 seconds.
  • The Vietnamese-American case begins at 25 minutes 37 seconds.
  • The Filipino-American case begins at 49 minutes 44 seconds.

The Facilitator's Guide is a 30 page PDF study guide for use with the video.  Includes description of the Asian American community, and overview of mental illness and mental health stigma in this population. The guide includes description of the purpose, learning objectives, potential uses and audiences for the video, along with helpful hints for facilitators and more information about the clinical and cultural aspects of the 3 case studies in the video.  Also included, DSM-IV-TR Outline for Cultural Formulation.


¡No Soy Loco! / I'm Not Crazy! Understanding the Stigma of Mental Illness in Latinos
46 minute training video authored in 2009 by Elizabeth J. Kramer, Sc.M., New York University; Peter Guarnaccia, Ph.D., Rutgers University; Cynthia Resendez, M.D.; and Francis G. Lu, M.D., University of California, Davis. The video is targeted to psychiatry residents, social workers, clinical psychologists, mental health nurses, mental health counselors and case managers. The goal is to demonstrate how Latino patients present their stigma of mental illness and how skilled therapists manage it. The video is comprised of vignettes of interviews with three simulated Latino patients: a young man with schizophrenia; a grandmother with bipolar disorder, whose son does not think she is well enough to care for her granddaughter; and a young woman who has been molested by her mother’s boyfriend and previously misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia. The vignettes are based on cases developed by the psychiatrists who appear in the DVD. The patients are actors, but the case material comes from real patients with whom the clinicians have worked. The cases have been altered to protect the identities of the patients involved.

See also: Facilitator's Guide (PDF) and DVD order form (PDF on website of Mental Health Association in California).

View the video by clicking the play icon (it may take some time to load depending on the speed of your internet connection). You can also view in full screen by clicking the icon at the bottom right corner of the video player once the video has loaded. To view a medium-sized screen, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The case of Diego, a young man with schizophrenia, begins at 4 minutes 7 seconds.
  • The case of Mrs. Pedrosa, a grandmother with bipolar disorder, begins at 22 minutes 2 seconds.
  • The case of Carmen, a young woman who has been molested by her mother’s boyfriend and previously misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia, begins at 32 minutes 33 seconds.

The Facilitator's Guide is 34 page PDF study guide for use with the video. Includes description of the Latino community in the United States including information about demographics, language, religion and use of herbal medicines. Also covered, the concept of 'locura,' information about culture bound syndromes, and overview of mental illness and mental health stigma in this population. The guide includes description of the purpose, learning objectives, potential uses and audiences for the video, along with helpful hints for facilitators and more information about the clinical and cultural aspects of the 3 case studies in the video. Also included, DSM-IV-TR Outline for Cultural Formulation.

Bibliographies and Journal Articles

Selected research, literature and journal articles related to mental health issues of refugees and immigrants.

Refugee Mental Health Bibliography
Compiled by the Pathways to Wellness Project, in conjunction with The National Partnership for Community Training, this bibliography compiles prominent reseach and literature on refugee mental health, from general information to screening and assessment processes, effective interventions and best practices in therapy, clinical treatment and culturally specific modalities.

Journal Articles

Working with Refugee Survivors of Torture
Article reprinted with permission from Western Journal of Medicine. By Barbara Chester, PhD and Neal Holton, MPH. West J Med, September 1992; 157:301-304.

Screening for Depression Among Newly Arrived Vietnamese Refugees in Primary Care Settings
Article reprinted with permission from Western Journal of Medicine. By Dedra Buchwald, MD et al. West J Med, October 1995; 163:341-345.

Mental Health and Illness in Vietnamese Refugees
Article reprinted with permission from Western Journal of Medicine by Steven J. Gold, PhD, Whittier, CA. West J Med, Sept. 1992; 157:290-294.