Understanding sibling and parental participation

The research literature suggests that African American communities lack knowledge about severe mental illness and how to access early intervention services. Myths, stigma, misinformation, and fear unduly influence many African American families when it comes to severe mental illnesses. Consequently, while African Americans experience mental illness at the same proportions as the rest of the population, they are more likely to obtain later and/or court-ordered treatement, resulting in more severe diagnoses, longer inpatient treatments, and poorer prognoses.

The goal of the project is to increase knowledge of patterns of caregiving, the nature of issues raised by siblings and their families, efforts to obtain help, patterns of voluntary participation in mental health associations, and views on mental illness.

The project will include focus groups of siblings and parents of African Americans with a severe mental illness. Participants will share their preceptions of severe mental illness, caregiving experiences, and voluntary participation in the care of the mentally ill person.

U.S. Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)

Keywords: health care