Project Details

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Lead: Sarah Qian Gong

Second Supervisor: Elizabeta Mukaetova-Ladinska 

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Project area or title

Old age mental health awareness and culturally appropriate support for ethnic minority groups in the UK


Social isolation, language barrier, displacement, loss of family ties, economic challenges negatively affect the mental wellbeing of the ethnic minority communities in the UK. Older members of the communities face additional challenges such as unemployment, poverty, bereavement, separation from their adult children, loneliness, and declining physical health, adversities all known to link to mental health problems. Lack of awareness and understanding of mental health problems within these communities has resulted in many undetected mental health cases. Existing literature shows that mental health problems, if left untreated, can develop into more severe conditions that require longer period of treatment and poorer prognosis.

This project aims to identify the specific needs of the ethnically diverse communities, and to explore the ways in which culturally appropriate mental health support can be provided at familial and community levels. This project will use qualitative methods (interviews and focus groups) with older people with mental health issues, their family carers and community mental health support workers to examine the factors that contribute to the lack of awareness and understanding, the barriers of seeking help, and the knowledge and resources that are needed to support them.


Common Mental Health


University of Leicester