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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 1998 May-Jun;19(3):225-40.

Underutilization of mental health services by Asian-Americans residing in the United States.

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University of North Carolina at Greensboro, School of Nursing 27402-6172, USA.


Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing minority in the United States, and they are a culturally diverse group. Knowledge about this growing minority population is important for the purposes of planning appropriate mental health care. Asian-Americans living in the United States rarely use mental health services. The reasons for this, along with suggestions for developing more culturally sensitive mental health services, are presented. A model for cultural competence can provide a framework for psychiatric nurses and other mental health professionals (MHPs) to become more aware of Asian-American values and beliefs and provide more culturally sensitive care. Awareness tools are included to guide MHPs in determining whether culturally competent care is available locally to meet the needs of this underserved population.

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