Challenging Mental Health Concerns among Black Caribbean Immigrants
Venner, Heather Angela
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The racial and ethnic diversity of the United States continues to evolve due to increases in immigration from nearly all parts of the globe, including the Caribbean region. Like the U.S., this region can also be considered a melting pot of cultures, with the Afro-Caribbean population widely scattered across these island nations. Important to this investigation is the large diaspora population of Black Caribbean immigrants (BCs) in the U.S. who are often viewed as African American simply by virtue of their skin tone and facial features. As such, this racial consolidation does not take into account their distinct history, immigrant experiences, and cultural 'separateness,' particularly with respect to mental health counseling. Current research is limited as to how the racial and ethnic identities of various generations of Black Caribbean immigrants in the U.S have shaped their experiences—and especially how racism in American may be impacting their lives. Moreover, their already limited experience with the counseling process may be undermined by culturally-inappropriate services that do not consider their distinct cultural beliefs and needs. Guided by known and respected clinical standards for multicultural counseling and training for culturally-competent counseling, this qualitative study explored the counseling experiences of eight English-speaking BCs. Themes related to if and how mental health clinicians are actually addressing their racial distinctiveness, ethnic identity, and immigrant experiences were highlighted. Implications for counselors, counselor educators, and Black Caribbean immigrants were summarized.
- Doctoral Dissertations