Ross Gordon Cooper.
Mental health in asian communities in UK.
Pak J Med Res Jan ;48(1):24-6.

Stigma associated with MH disorders may result in delayed admission by Asian parents that their affected child needs support. Asian women recently entering the UK may experience depression due to cultural alienation and reduced family support4, contributing to high self-harm incidences and attempted suicide. Removal or integration of traditional clothing with westernized clothing may, through strains in the family unit, result in more MH disorders in Asian women. Indeed, South Asians are less likely than whites to discuss their problems with friends or relatives, although the former consulted their GP more frequently5. Other factors include infection status (e.g. HIV) and nutritional problems. Issues incumbent amongst Asians need to be brought to light via study groups and carers communicating with families in the community. Lectures to nursing and medical students should include these issues. Links with religious leaders in the community may foster aspects of positivism, skill development and social care amongst families. The disparity between nuclear and extended families and the influence of elders on the MH of children should, in the former unit, receive more community health support. In general though, south Asians have fewer issues with appetite loss, fat phobia and obesity suggesting satisfactory respectful relationships with parents and peers. A more open approach to discuss issues prevalent in the Asian community must be fostered by the NHS especially as many will, after obtaining British residence, not return to their home countries. There may be greater family support in Asians associated with a lack of knowledge of and dissatisfaction with NHS services. Such issues need serious consideration, and long-term strategies drafted out and implemented. (Review article)

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