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Exploring Perceptual Changes and Stigma Relating to Mental Health and Wellbeing within the South Asian Community

Uddin, Sheppu (2017) Exploring Perceptual Changes and Stigma Relating to Mental Health and Wellbeing within the South Asian Community. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Within the South Asian community, there is a negative perception towards mental health and psychological wellbeing (Amri and Bemak, 2012). This can have an impact on the older generation due to cultural beliefs; however the younger generation are more accepting in today’s Western society. Therefore, this study aims to explore the South Asian community’s perception on mental health and wellbeing, specifically mental illnesses; to understand why these stigmas exist, to discover whether these negative perceptions have transitioned to the younger generation of the South Asian community. Six females from South Asian origins were recruited using purposive sampling, between the ages of 18 – 24. Six semi-structured interviews were conducted to obtain data, which were transcribed for the interpretative phenomenological analysis (Smith and Osborn, 2003). Three superordinate themes were developed, firstly the theme ‘Judgement’: Shame, Hindering Marriage Prospects and Hidden Secrets. Secondly, ‘Religion’: Blame and Power of the Imaam. Thirdly, Generational Differences: Acceptance, Dismissive and Western v Eastern. The findings indicated that stigma towards mental illness still exist within the South Asian community. Moreover, the findings demonstrated that there is judgement from the community and within the family. Therefore, the negative views from the older generation are slowly being implemented upon the younger generation

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