Expanding Mental Health Services Delivery for Depression in the Community from Burma in North Carolina: A Paraprofessional Training Program
The scope of my dissertation project was to investigate the training of community leaders, including religious leaders, in the delivery of individual cognitive-behavioral support for depression in the community from Burma in NC. My research aims were to train community leaders a) to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and associated problems, including intergenerational conflict, substance abuse, domestic violence and suicide; b) to use reflective listening and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) skills, and c) to increase awareness of stigma toward treatment-seeking for depression and its related problems. Positive training outcomes were found for knowledge of depression and CBT strategies, and for attitudes toward treatment-seeking for depression; suggesting community leaders could be a valuable resource for expanding evidence-based mental health services delivery within the community from Burma and potentially within Burma as well, where there is a scarcity of mental health professionals. This study extends existing research on training paraprofessionals and religious leaders in the use of CBT. In particular, it adds to the knowledge base on providing mental health services within the community from Burma, which may extend to other refugee and immigrant communities in the U.S.
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