Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Racialized Immigrants, Refugees, and Non-Status People Living with HIV/AIDS

Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 26 (2015): 505-518

14 Pages Posted: 7 May 2015

See all articles by Y.Y. Brandon Chen

Y.Y. Brandon Chen

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section

Alan Tai-Wai Li

Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment

Kenneth Po-Lun Fung

University of Toronto - Toronto Western Hospital

Josephine Pui-Hing Wong

Ryerson University

Date Written: May 1, 2015

Abstract

The demographic characteristics of people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs) in Canada are increasingly diverse. Despite literature suggesting a potentially heightened mental health burden borne by racialized immigrant, refugee, and non-status PHAs (IRN-PHAs), researchers have hitherto paid insufficient attention to whether existing services adequately address this need and how services might be improved. Employing community-based research methodology involving PHAs from five ethnoracial groups in Toronto, Ontario, this study explored IRN-PHAs’ mental health service-seeking behaviors, service utilization experiences, and suggestions for service improvements. Results showed that while most IRN-PHAs were proactive in improving their mental health, their attempts to obtain support were commonly undermined by service provider mistreatment, unavailability of appropriate services, and multiple access barriers. A three-pronged approach involving IRN-PHA empowerment, anti-stigma and cultural competence promotion, and greater service integration is proposed for improving IRN-PHAs’ mental health service experience.

Keywords: Canada, immigrants, refugees, HIV, mental health, services accessibility, social stigma, cultural competence

Suggested Citation

Chen, Yin-Yuan and Li, Alan Tai-Wai and Fung, Kenneth Po-Lun and Wong, Josephine Pui-Hing, Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Racialized Immigrants, Refugees, and Non-Status People Living with HIV/AIDS (May 1, 2015). Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 26 (2015): 505-518. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2603053

Yin-Yuan Chen (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Pvt.
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

Alan Tai-Wai Li

Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment ( email )

United States

Kenneth Po-Lun Fung

University of Toronto - Toronto Western Hospital ( email )

399 Bathurst Street
Toronto, Ontario 4W451
Canada

Josephine Pui-Hing Wong

Ryerson University ( email )

350 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3
Canada

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