270287 Hmong Mental Health: An assessment of need in greater Saint Paul, Minnesota area

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Amy Leite Bennett, MPH , Wilder Research, Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, Saint Paul, MN
The Wilder Foundation in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Ramsey County's Children's Mental Health Services (CMHS) programs have observed particularly low mental health service use rates among Hmong youth and adults. To determine whether low service use reflected a lack of need for mental health services or if the Hmong face significant barriers to accessing services, Wilder Research explored the mental health needs of Hmong youth and adults. Cultural and community barriers impact the awareness of mental health and available services, as well as willingness to use services within the Hmong community. Many Hmong were unaware of mental health and mental health services, and how to access such services. Furthermore, stigma and shame around mental health issues are prevalent, and Hmong face challenges choosing services in either the traditional Hmong system or more western mental health services. Due to limited access to services, wait times to see a mental health professional are long, especially if a Hmong provider is preferred. Intake processes can also be daunting and culturally insensitive, and the mental health system lacks culturally relevant mental health screening and assessment tools for Hmong youth and adults. Available assessments may not accurately identify mental health concerns and issues within a cultural context. This presentation will highlight findings from the assessment, and identify opportunities for improving access, availability, and cultural sensitivity and appropriateness of various mental health services for youth and adults.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the unique cultural nuances of mental health in the Hmong culture 2. Identify opportunities to enhance current service delivery for culturally-specific populations

Keywords: Adult and Child Mental Health, Asian Americans

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a lead researcher for this and several other mental health assessments within Wilder Research. Among my specific interests has been the identification of strategies for improving patient experiences in mental health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.