Filipino Mental Health Culture Paper

Topics: Psychiatry, Philippines, United States Pages: 5 (1407 words) Published: November 23, 2012
“Culture comprises of shared beliefs values, and practices that guide a group’s members in patterned ways of thinking and acting. Culture can also be viewed as a blueprint for guiding actions that impact care, health, and well-being” (Leininger & McFarland, 2006). “Culture is more than ethnicity and social norms; it includes religious, geographic, socio-economic, occupational, ability-or disability-related, and sexual orientation-related beliefs and behaviors. Each group has cultural beliefs, values, and practices that guide its members in ways of thinking and acting. Cultural norms help members of the group make sense of the world around them and make decisions about appropriate ways to relate and behave. Because cultural norms prescribe what is “normal” and ‘abnormal,” culture helps develop concepts of mental health and illness” (Varcarolis & Halter, 2010). Discussed further will be the mental health of Filipino Americans as well as mental health information from The Philippines. Mental Health Needs

“A strong belief that spirits are a cause of physical and mental illness is prevalent throughout the Western Pacific Region, including the Philippines. The strong influence of religion on the Filipino people has however, generated a strong and positive sense of spirituality, which is considered a source of strength in the individual. Since this spirituality is actively acknowledged and practiced in communities, it is recognized as a major coping mechanism in times of social deprivation and disadvantage, crises, political upheavals, and natural and man- Running Head: FILIPINO MENTAL HEALTH CULTURE PAPER 3 made disasters. Psychosocial intervention programs during these times often integrate a psycho-spiritual approach. It is though that the rate of successful suicide is low because taking one’s life is considered a sin (Conde, 2004).” Family Support

“The family is the basic unit of society. It is still considered to be very important and there is active consciousness in the majority of Filipinos to preserve this despite the many social conditions that threaten its structure and the roles within it. While the nuclear family is evolving in the rapidly expanding urban areas, extended families are still prevalent. Families are clos-knit and influenced by tradition. Major decisions are not made unless parents are consulted and have given their approval. Family support is crucial as a basis of community support in times of need” (Conde, 2004).

“Mental illness is dealt with through the help of family and friends and faith in God. One's mental affliction is identified as the family's illness and is associated with shame and stigma. The open display of emotional affliction is discouraged in favor of social harmony. Assistance is often sought from relatives and peers before approaching professionals. Decisions, including health care practices and preferences, advance directives, and consent for procedures and treatment, are commonly made in consultation with the family” (Sanchez & Gaw, 2007).

“Some families view children with mental illness as "bringers of good luck". Filipinos willingly interact with persons with mental illness, but they may not accept them as cohabitants or employees. The rejection is based on the belief that persons with mental affliction are Running Head: FILIPINO MENTAL HEALTH CULTURE PAPER 4 dangerously unpredictable. Filipinos generally unconditionally sacrifice time and vocation to accept and care for their disabled family members” (Sanchez & Gaw, 2007). Access to Mental Health Care

“Among Asian American ethnic groups, Filipinos have the second largest representation (behind their peers of Chinese ancestry) within the total Asian American Pacific Islander population of approximately 10 million people (U.S. Census Bureau, 2002).”

“Although Filipino Americans are generally categorized within the aggregated “Asian...
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