BMJ open 2017 11 037(11) e018265 doi 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018265
This qualitative study set out to understand the mental health challenges and service access barriers experienced by South Asian youth populations in the Peel Region of Toronto, Canada.
In-depth semistructured interviews were carried out with South Asian youth living in Peel Region (Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon), a suburb of Toronto, Canada, home to over 50% of Ontario’s South Asian population.
South Asian youth (n=10) engaged in thoughtful, candid dialogue about their mental health and service access barriers.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES
Qualitative interview themes related to mental health stressors and mental health service access barriers experienced by youth living in Peel Region were assessed using thematic analysis.
South Asian youth face many mental health stressors, from intergenerational and cultural conflict, academic pressure, relationship stress, financial stress and family difficulties. These stressors can contribute to mental health challenges, such as depression and anxiety and drug use, with marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes cited as the most popular substances. South Asian youth were only able to identify about a third (36%) of the mental health resources presented to them and did not feel well informed about mental health resources available in their neighbourhood.
They offered recommendations for improved youth support directed at parents, education system, South Asian community and mental health system. Institutions and bodies at all levels of the society have a role to play in ensuring the mental health of South Asian youth.