Improving access to mental health services for immigrant and refugee persons with HIV/AIDS

Principal Organizations: Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment c/o – Asian Community AIDS Services
Partner Organizations: Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples ,Centre for Addiction and Mental Health ,Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention ,Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention ,African in Partnership Against AIDS
Principal Investigator(s): Alan Li

Mental health services constitute a critical component of the overall treatment and management of HIV and AIDS. Immigrants and refugees living with HIV/AIDS (I&R-PHAs) experience complex barriers in accessing mental health services that take in consideration of their HIV/AIDS conditions. This 2-year project represents two components of a larger community action research initiative which aims to improve access of mental health services for I&R-PHAs, and to facilitate intersectoral collaboration to achieve best practices and influence policy change. Based on the conceptual orientation of health promotion, community empowerment and capacity building, this study will use focus group interviews and an interpretive approach to explore how I&R-PHAs define their mental health needs, how they make sense of and cope with their mental health issues, and their experiences in accessing mental health services. Findings of this research will compliment the outcomes of other components of a larger initiative to inform the development and implementation of professional training for service providers and the piloting of a model of inclusive practices.