Based on the feedback provided, I have decided to redirect my research topic to Ghanaian-Canadians perception of mental health. Mental health is the function of our emotional, psychological and social well-being which affects how we think, feel and act (Halter, Pollard & Jakubec, 2014). There are a lot of information on mental health literature on immigrant’s mental health. However, I feel that there has not been enough light shed on the Ghanaian community’s issues with mental health. The research found on mental health in immigrants focuses on the struggles moving into a new country and dealing with stressors that lead to ineffective mental health function in many immigrants. Individuals who are from Ghana have been raised in an environment whereby they have not been introduced to poor mental health function as an issue. Han, Han, Luo, Jacobs, & Jean-Baptiste (2013) supports this statement that immigrants may not be familiar with the concept of mental health. As this confirms that many Ghanaian Canadian in this country came here as immigrants and do lack the knowledge on the importance of mental health well-being. They believe that an individual’s mental health state should always be intact because their religion, values, and beliefs take precedent over their holistic health. This notion has an impact on generations from this cultural background’s values and beliefs of mental health functioning. Which is evident as their parents have imposed their values and views on how they should adapt to their mental health state. As being an immigrant myself, the views on mental health by my parents growing up has impacted me in so many ways. Because being in nursing school I have to learn to adjust to the western world’s view of mental health and acceptance of mental illness. Ghanaians presume mental illness as a stigma, so it prevents them from seeking help for it. Which also inhibits the acceptance of an affected person in the community if an individual is affected by a mental illness. Many immigrants leave their country in the pursuit of a better quality of life in the western world but fail to realize that there are conflicts they may encounter in their new environment (Han, Han, Luo, Jacobs, & Jean-Baptiste, 2013). They encounter challenges such as adjusting to new social status, lifestyle changes, barriers to accessing health services, poor social determinants of health, work-related stress, discrimination, and unfair treatment. Therefore, nurses need to be culturally sensitive and culturally aware of this community’s values and belief’s concerning mental health (Guruge, Thomson, George, and Chaze, 2015). When nurses are aware, they will be able to provide culturally competent care to families from this cultural background because mental health is a huge concern within the Ghanaian Canadian community, however, it does not get addressed.
Guruge, S., Thomson, M., Geroge, U., Chaze, F. (2015). Social support, social conflict, and immigrant women’s mental health in a Canadian context: a scoping review. Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing. 22(1), 655-667.
Halter, M. J., Pollard, C.L., Jakubec, S.L. (2014). Varcarolis’s Canadian psychiatric mental health nursing: A clinical approach (2nded.). Milton, ON: Elsevier Canada.
Han, X., Han, X., Luo, Q., Jacobs, S., & Jean-Baptiste, M. (2013). Report of a mental health survey among Chinese international students at Yale University. Journal of American College Health, 61(1), 1-8.