Mental Health Stigma Among Black Immigrant Women in An Urban Setting

J Ment Health Clin Psychol. 2021;5(2):1-7.

Abstract

Background: Mental health stigma results in unmet mental health needs. Research describing predictors of stigma remains limited among Black immigrants. We aim to examine stigma associated with mental illness among a group of Black immigrant women.

Methods: We examined data from 22 women from two Black immigrant community centers. We collected surveys on demographics, cultural beliefs, migration status, religiosity and mental health stigma. Simple linear regression was used to model the unadjusted association between each component variable and overall stigma scores. All analyses were conducted using R and assumed a two-sided, 5% level of significance.

Results: A linear relationship was found between author-generated scale, the Stigma and Culture Survey (SCS) and the Depression Self Stigma Scale (DSSS). Among respondents, use of religious resources was associated with less stigma (p-value: 0.04). Whereas spirituality and morality was associated with greater stigma (p-value: 0.003). United States citizenship was associated with less stigma (p-value: 0.0001).

Discussion/conclusion: Religion and spirituality are critical to understanding mental health stigma among Black immigrants. Studies aimed at assessing and reducing stigma need to critically engage with cultural and religious factors.

Keywords: Black persons; Immigrants; Mental health; Religion; Spirituality; Stigma.