Mental health attitudes among Middle Eastern/North African individuals in the United States

Molly Mechammil, Sara Boghosian, Rick A. Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Middle Eastern/North African (MENA) individuals may have heightened risk for developing mental health problems due to unique cultural stressors. However, traditional cultural and religious practices and beliefs socialised within the family environment may reduce the likelihood of seeking mental health services. This qualitative study aimed to better understand the intersection of cultural, religious, and mental health attitudes among MENA individuals. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with MENA adults who had received therapy services (N = 13) and were analysed for emergent themes. Respondents reported lack of understanding of mental illness within their communities, and prominent levels of perceived and self-stigma. Families and religious practices/beliefs played an important role in responding to mental illness. Results suggest that incorporating psychoeducation and community awareness campaigns alongside religious services may help to reduce barriers to receiving mental health treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)724-737
Number of pages14
JournalMental Health, Religion and Culture
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 9 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • MENA
  • mental health attitudes
  • Middle Eastern
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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