Publication Date

2008

Abstract

This paper aims to answer the question “What kind of mental health services and practices would be most culturally appropriate, accessible and effective for Guatemalan women in Lynn, MA?” The paper explores literature regarding the topics of mental health and mental illness in the United States and intercultural competence in the health care and mental health care fields. In addition, the paper looks at a brief history of Guatemala and the possible psycho-social stressors experienced by women of Latin American origin in the United States.

The research methodology consisted of two interviews; one with three Guatemalan women and a follow-up interview with two of those three women. The research sought to gather qualitative data by using the phenomenological interviewing approach. The information gathered from the women was compared to the recommendations made by the Model Mental Health Program for Hispanics (MMHPH) in order to develop recommendations specifically for Guatemalan women and families in Lynn.

The data gathered from the research participants indicated that they do not have experience with or knowledge about mental health or illness. The conclusion of the study was that the responses from the Guatemalan women support the recommendations made by the MMHPH, especially in the area of outreach and education. In this paper, specific recommendations are made for the Greater Lynn area in the program areas suggested by the MMHPH, including Environment and Staffing, Outreach and Educational Awareness Activities, Organizational Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity, Program Delivery System/Treatment Availability, and Clinical Treatment Programs.

Disciplines

Psychiatric and Mental Health

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