An insight into the perspective of UK men of South Asian origin on having a psychiatric diagnosis and the wider implications
Mental health services are required to provide culturally levels of care and encourage the development of multi-cultural services. There is a body of research that suggests people from ethnic minorities groups in the UK are under-represented in mental health services. People of South Asian origin do not access psychiatric services as readily as the indigenous population, yet they still experience mental health problems. There is a body of research exploring reasons why there is an under-representation of South Asian women within mental health services. South Asian men are also under-represented in their use of mental health services and there is a dearth of literature examining this phenomenon.;The aims of the present study were to gain insight into how the experiences of second/third generation South Asian men perceive their culture within a mental health context, to explore their perspective of having a psychiatric diagnosis and the possible implications caused.;In depth interviews were conducted with six UK men of South Asian origin. A qualitative methodology of grounded theory was used to analyse the men's accounts. A core category termed 'Reconstructing a sense of identity' was identified and a process model was developed to describe the factors influencing the core category. Five main categories were identified which highlighted the participants' experience of being a South Asian man and having a psychiatric diagnosis.;Participants highlighted the importance of culture as an identifying factor of their identity. In addition, receiving a psychiatric diagnosis suggested that they could identify an identity of having an illness. The influence of services, professionals, family and friends either enabled the participants to integrate their identities or have separate identities each having implications. The accounts from participants emphasise that professionals should work from the client's cultural frame of reference, experience and needs.