Mental Health and Stress Among South Asians

  • Alison Karasz
  • Francesca Gany
  • Javier Escobar
  • Cristina Flores
  • Lakshmi Prasad
  • Arpana Inman
  • Vasundhara Kalasapudi
  • Razia Kosi
  • Meena Murthy
  • Jennifer Leng
  • Sadhna Diwan
Original Paper


Addressing mental illness requires a culturally sensitive approach. As detailed in this literature review, treating mental illness in the South Asian immigrant community necessitates a thorough understanding of the South Asian conceptualization of mental illness. Past research, though limited, has described the different reasons the South Asian community attributes to causing mental illness, as well as the stigma associated with acknowledging the disease. Acculturation of the community also plays a significant role in cultural acceptability and the receipt of quality care. Lessons from local organizations can be applied at the national level to promote cultural responsiveness in treating mental illness in the South Asian immigrant community.


South Asian Immigrant Mental health Acculturation Literature review 



This publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R13 MD007147-01A1. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. SAHI staff would like to thank the Steering Committee members, all working group co-chairs, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Library, Rohini Rau-Murthy and the SAHI interns for their assistance in assembling this document.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison Karasz
    • 1
  • Francesca Gany
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Javier Escobar
    • 6
  • Cristina Flores
    • 7
  • Lakshmi Prasad
    • 8
  • Arpana Inman
    • 9
  • Vasundhara Kalasapudi
    • 10
  • Razia Kosi
    • 11
  • Meena Murthy
    • 12
  • Jennifer Leng
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Sadhna Diwan
    • 13
  1. 1.Department of Family and Social MedicineAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  2. 2.Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Healthcare Policy and ResearchWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of MedicineWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of Global Health and Department of Psychiatry and Family MedicineRutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolNew BrunswickUSA
  7. 7.The Warren Alpert Medical School, The Brown Human Rights Asylum Clinic (BHRAC)Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  8. 8.Ohio Perinatal Quality CollaborativeCincinnatiUSA
  9. 9.Department of Education and Human ServicesLehigh UniversityBethlehemUSA
  10. 10.India HomeNew YorkUSA
  11. 11.Maryland/DC Chapter of the IndoAmerican Psychiatric Association, Counselors Helping (South) Asian Indians, Inc. (CHAI)The Howard County Mental Health AuthorityColumbiaUSA
  12. 12.Division of Endocrinology, Nutrition and Metabolism, Saint Peter’s Thyroid and Diabetes CenterSaint Peter’s University HospitalNew BrunswickUSA
  13. 13.Center for Healthy Aging in Multicultural Populations, School of Social WorkSan Jose State UniversitySan JoseUSA

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