New Article: Ayalon et al, Informal Mental Health Help-Seeking Attitudes according to Israeli Arab Women

Ayalon, Liat, Khaled Karkabi, Igor Bleichman, Silvia Fleischmann, and Margalit Goldfracht. “Between Modern and Traditional Values: Informal Mental Health Help-Seeking Attitudes according to Israeli Arab Women, Primary Care Patients and Their Providers.” International Journal of Social Psychiatry 61.4 (2015): 386-93.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020764014549082

 

Abstract

Background: Israeli Arab women under-utilize mental health services.

Objectives: The present study evaluated the use of alternative services for dealing with depression and anxiety among Israeli Arab women and primary care providers.

Material: Four focus groups with primary care patients and two focus groups with primary care providers were conducted. Constant comparisons were employed in order to identify major themes related to informal help-seeking behaviors.

Discussion: Three informal help-seeking behaviors were identified: (a) social support, divided into extended family and neighbors versus nuclear family and close friends; (b) religiosity, divided into inner, direct practices and beliefs versus externally mediated ones; and (c) self-help techniques, such as engagement in activities and distancing oneself from the situation. Both social support and religiosity were viewed with ambivalence by primary care patients and providers.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the Arab population in Israel might be lacking informal sources of support at times of mental health needs.

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