Understanding Treatment-Seeking Behavior

It has been well-established that mental health care disparities disproportionately affect individuals from low-income and cultural minority backgrounds. While some of these disparities can be explained in terms of systems issues, it is important to understand the lived experiences of individuals who may be seeking mental health services. This research has been funded by a variety of sources, including NIMH and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Barriers and facilitators to aftercare engagement
(PI: Keefe) [Ongoing Project]
This qualitative study is examining the barriers and facilitators that affect engagement with aftercare mental health treatment following psychiatric hospitalization. Of particular interest is the extent to which conceptualizations of mental health and illness may be related to attitudes towards and intention to seek aftercare services. We currently have one paper under review from this project, and are working to submit a second paper.

The Strong Black Woman role and Help-Seeking
(PI: Nelson) [Ongoing Project]
In this qualitative study of 30 African American women, we are attempting to understand how African American women conceptualize strength and the Strong Black Woman (SBW) role, the implications of adhering to the SBW role, and how the SBW role is associated with help-seeking. We have published one paper from this project, and we are currently working on a second paper.

The Worcester Mental Health Needs Assessment 
(Co-PIs: Cardemil & Torres Stone) [Recently Completed]
This project, conducted in collaboration with the Worcester Division of Public Health and funded by the Fairlawn Foundation, explores the mental health needs of the Worcester community. 61 qualitative interviews were conducted with executive directors of mental healthcare serving agencies, providers, and Worcester residents. City-level quantitative data were also analyzed. A report was written up for the city of Worcester, and we are currently working on a paper to submit for publication.

Y sigo siendo el rey: The impact of gender, culture, and trauma on treatment engagement among court-mandated Latino men
(PI: Sanchez) [Recently Completed]
This project used qualitative methods to explore sociocultural influences on treatment engagement among court-mandated Latino men who had perpetrated a violent crime.

Treatment-seeking for depression among low-income, Latino men
(PI: Cardemil) [Recently Project]
This mixed-methods investigation, funded by NIMH, investigates the culture- and gender-based psychological variables underlying the underutilization of depression treatment by low-income, Latino men experiencing clinically significant symptoms of depression. We are currently working on multiple papers for publication.

Religion, spirituality, and mental health help-seeking among Latinos
(PI: Moreno) [Completed]
This research used qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the role of religion and spirituality on attitudes towards and use of formal mental health services. We published one paper from this project, and we currently have a second one in progress.

Follow-up to mental health care among Latinos
(PI: Zack Ishikawa) [Completed]
This NIMH-funded project investigates Latino primary care patients’ follow up to mental health specialty care, with a particular emphasis on the association between the primary care provider – patient working alliance, provider cultural competency, and treatment follow-up. We published one paper from this project

Local mental health needs assessment
(PI: Sanchez) [Completed]
This community-based participatory research project is being funded by the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation. It is a collaborative project resulting from the combined efforts of several local community organizations. The aim of the study is to assess Latino and Brazilian adults’ current and prior mental health problems, as well as understand their experiences and attitudes towards relevant mental health services. We have published one paper from this project.