Poster Session: Reduce Behavioral Health Stigma in the South Asian Community

Join Hume Center's Priya Aslam & Preet K. Sabharwal in San Fransico at AAPA Convention in August, 2018

The South Asian community is a diverse, rich, and thriving population here in the United States. Individuals that identify themselves as South Asian come from regions of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Despite their growing numbers, the utilization of behavioral services for this population is one of the lowest. This community is unlikely to seek and utilize behavioral health services for a variety of reasons, many of them associated with stigmas about behavioral health. Stigmas of behavioral health are enforced further by the lack of knowledge about what behavioral health is, what therapy is, what confidentiality entails, and what the role of the therapist is. South Asian clients want a safe and private environment where they can receive language and culturally sensitive services. Starting in 2010, in an attempt to break through stigmas of mental health care in these communities the Portia Bell Hume Behavioral and Training Center developed a comprehensive program specifically to serve the South Asian Community. This program, with major funding provided by Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and the Mental Health Services Act funding, offers community programs and services that are uniquely and best suited for their consumers whether that is an individual, family, community, or organization. The purpose of this poster will be to discuss some of the stigmas of behavioral health within the South Asian community and highlight how the South Asian Community Health Promotion Services Program at the Hume Center is addressing these issues. As clinicians working to serve this community, we believe there needs to be a continuous growth process towards awareness of the South Asian community, awareness of barriers associated with behavioral health, education within the community about the benefits of psychotherapy, culturally relevant theories, and more research revolved around this population. We look forward to the opportunity to come share our work with our fellow psychologists and educate them about the South Asian community and how they as clinicians can serve this community more effectively.
Click this link to read about our South Asian Community Health Promotion Services