ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


Social Work

First Advisor

Katherine Sanchez

Second Advisor

Michael O Killian

Third Advisor

Diane B Mitschke


Hispanics are less likely to access mental health care services due to stigma related to depression and lack of cultural effective education, along with other socioeconomic factors. Hispanics are more likely to access care through a primary care provider, making a primary care setting with an integrative behavioral health program an ideal place for early mental health interventions. Understanding the mental health literacy of patients in a healthcare setting may improve quality of care, that can lead to early detection of mental illness and can help engage a patient into treatment. The present study seeks to add to the research on mental health literacy by applying four quantitative measures examining stigma and knowledge of depression to the mental health literacy framework. In doing so, this study seeks to understand the relationship between depression knowledge and stigma and how depression knowledge and depression stigma vary by education level. Baseline data collected from DESEO: Depression Screening and Education: Options to Reduce Barriers to Treatment project, that recruited 350 participants who screened positive for depression at a Tarrant County community clinic was analyzed. The baseline measures, from which the data was collected and examined were the Stigma Concerns About Mental Health Care (SCMHC), Social Distance (SD), Latino Scale for Antidepressant Stigma (LSAS), Depression Knowledge (DKM) Measures, and education level. All the data was collected prior to the education intervention. The study examines the relationship between stigma and depression knowledge and examines if education level can predict stigma and depression knowledge. Of the 350 participants, almost two-thirds of the sample had less than a high school education (63.7%) and 14.0% had at least some college education. DKM scores were significantly correlated with lower SCMHC scores and with higher SD. DKM scores, SD scores and LSAS scores significantly varied amount education groups. In each case, participants with some or more college education reported significantly greater depression knowledge and less stigma surrounding mental health issues than participants with lower education levels. In conclusion, the study suggests that there is an association between depression knowledge and stigma and between education level and mental health literacy (measured through the stigma and depression measures). Obtaining a well-rounded picture of the client’s education level, depression stigma and depression knowledge, may allow for a more thoughtful application of an intervention that can help engage a Hispanic client into treatment. Although the measures do not tie into every component of the mental health literacy framework, they do provide of the factors that can influence engagement into care. This understanding can lead to improved health outcomes of Hispanics and quality of culturally effective mental health care.


Mental health literacy, Depression, Stigma, Education level, Hispanic, Culturally effective, Social work


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Work


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


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

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