Author

Carina Zuniga

ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0003-4250-7806

Graduation Semester and Year

2019

Language

English

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Diane B Mitschke

Abstract

Refugees often carry with them traumas and mental health issues, why may continue or worsen in their new resettlement country. Understanding refugee populations and their mental health needs is a critical endeavor to support them effectively during and after the resettlement process. Currently, there is a lack of research over this population's mental health and what kinds of interventions are most effective. Recently, the U.S. has resettled a proportionately high number of refugees from Burma or Myanmar, mostly from the ethnic minority group called Karen. The present study interviewed 16 Karen refugees who were receiving medical care or case management at a clinic in north Texas. Participants were interviewed about their perceptions of depression and how best to help Karen people with depression. Findings revealed that Karen refugees tend to view depression as experiencing emotional distress, cognitive impairment, relationship difficulties, or somatization. Their recommendations include providing emotional support or practical solutions, increasing communication and awareness about depression, improving coping skills and health, turning to spirituality, or a combination. Effective treatment may incorporate communal, problem-solving, or religious aspects. Implications for future research, practice, and social work education are discussed.

Keywords

Refugees, Karen, Depression, Perceptions, Burma, Myanmar, Mental health

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work

License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Comments

Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Social Work Commons

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