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Conference Paper: The role of family in the help-seeking experience of relatives suffering from severe mental illness in the Chinese community in England

TitleThe role of family in the help-seeking experience of relatives suffering from severe mental illness in the Chinese community in England
Authors
KeywordsChinese
mental illness
help-seeking
Issue Date2011
PublisherThe Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR).
Citation
The 11th Biannual Research Conference of the Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR), Reykjavík, Iceland, 27- 28 May 2011. In the Abstracts of the 11th Biannual Research Conference of the NNDR, 2011, p. 202 How to Cite?
AbstractBackground Traditional Chinese societies emphasise collectivism and familial obligation to their family members. Studies in different Chinese societies showed that Chinese families often assumed that it was their responsibility to look after the ‘unwell’ in the family. Aim This paper aims to discuss the role of family in the help-seeking process of Chinese people suffering from severe mental illness (SMI) in England. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted to capture the complexity of help-seeking experience of Chinese people affected by SMI in England. 14 families with a relative suffering from SMI were interviewed. Family members interviewed included spouses, parents and cousins. Findings The study found that family could facilitate and hinder early contact with mental health services. Families also used spiritual healers and traditional Chinese medicine to look after their relatives’ mental health. The direction and duration of help-seeking was affected by the support and advice given by the wider social network such as friends and work colleagues. Although all participants had a relatively long mental health history, repeated relapses did not necessarily lead to total rejection of relatives with mental illness as suggested by previous studies on overseas Chinese. Chinese people suffering from SMI still maintained close and regular contacts with their families. The family provided emotional support and practical support such as acting as interpreters and accompanying their mentally unwell relatives to attend medical appointments. Conclusions The findings revealed that although family plays a major part at different stages of help-seeking, support and advice given by other social connections could alter their help-seeking journey. Further study is needed to explore different ways to provide information about symptoms of mental illness and service provisions for the Chinese community so that timely and appropriate treatment can be provided.
DescriptionParallel Paper Sessions 41: Culture & society
The Abstract of the Conference is located at: http://gamla.yourhost.is/images/stories/nndr2010/NNDR_Abstracts.pdf
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/136471

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorYeung, YWen_US
dc.date.accessioned2011-07-27T02:16:47Z-
dc.date.available2011-07-27T02:16:47Z-
dc.date.issued2011en_US
dc.identifier.citationThe 11th Biannual Research Conference of the Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR), Reykjavík, Iceland, 27- 28 May 2011. In the Abstracts of the 11th Biannual Research Conference of the NNDR, 2011, p. 202en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/136471-
dc.descriptionParallel Paper Sessions 41: Culture & society-
dc.descriptionThe Abstract of the Conference is located at: http://gamla.yourhost.is/images/stories/nndr2010/NNDR_Abstracts.pdf-
dc.description.abstractBackground Traditional Chinese societies emphasise collectivism and familial obligation to their family members. Studies in different Chinese societies showed that Chinese families often assumed that it was their responsibility to look after the ‘unwell’ in the family. Aim This paper aims to discuss the role of family in the help-seeking process of Chinese people suffering from severe mental illness (SMI) in England. Methods In-depth interviews were conducted to capture the complexity of help-seeking experience of Chinese people affected by SMI in England. 14 families with a relative suffering from SMI were interviewed. Family members interviewed included spouses, parents and cousins. Findings The study found that family could facilitate and hinder early contact with mental health services. Families also used spiritual healers and traditional Chinese medicine to look after their relatives’ mental health. The direction and duration of help-seeking was affected by the support and advice given by the wider social network such as friends and work colleagues. Although all participants had a relatively long mental health history, repeated relapses did not necessarily lead to total rejection of relatives with mental illness as suggested by previous studies on overseas Chinese. Chinese people suffering from SMI still maintained close and regular contacts with their families. The family provided emotional support and practical support such as acting as interpreters and accompanying their mentally unwell relatives to attend medical appointments. Conclusions The findings revealed that although family plays a major part at different stages of help-seeking, support and advice given by other social connections could alter their help-seeking journey. Further study is needed to explore different ways to provide information about symptoms of mental illness and service provisions for the Chinese community so that timely and appropriate treatment can be provided.-
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherThe Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR).-
dc.relation.ispartofBiannual Research Conference of the Nordic Network on Disability Research (NNDR)en_US
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subjectChinese-
dc.subjectmental illness-
dc.subjecthelp-seeking-
dc.titleThe role of family in the help-seeking experience of relatives suffering from severe mental illness in the Chinese community in Englanden_US
dc.typeConference_Paperen_US
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.hkuros187080en_US
dc.identifier.spage202-
dc.identifier.epage202-

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