Date of Award
Master of Social Work (MSW)
The purpose of this study was to create a space to explore and center marginalized knowledge, and voices of Indo-Caribbean Canadian mental health service recipients. I did this by interviewing five participants, with the aim of examining processes of identity construction of racialized people involved in formal mental health systems, and the forces that shape this construction. Areas of inquiry included definitions of mental health and illness and their treatment; processes of identity construction around race, ethnicity, and mental health identity within this system; the power structures that shape these constructions, and the notion of cultural relevance. In a parallel process of exploration, as a means of addressing power through transparency, I also examined my identity and positioning as a researcher.
At the outset of this study I anticipated tensions and discrepancies between participants' constructions of identity and mental health, and the dominant discourses and constructions in the mental health system. Results indicated a general endorsement of mental health system involvement, but differences in constructions of mental health and illness between culture of origin and Canadian culture. Tensions were evident in terms of racialized identity, in the context of acculturation and racism. My analysis of the results, surfaced the importance of the contextualization of experience, a reframing of ethno-racial and cultural service provision toward cultural relevance, and the process of social construction.
Upadhya, Anjali, "Indo-Caribbean Canadian Mental Health Service Recipients: Processes of Power and Constructions of Identity" (2011). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4981.
McMaster University Library