The psychologist needs to be
aware of how the culture the person comes from has an affect on their
experience of mental illness before making a diagnosis. In the unite for sight
article about cultural perspective of metal health, Baley et al highlights how
culture influences how people view mental illness, for example African
Americans have negative attitudes towards health care professionals which is
effected by their religious beliefs, distrust of medical profession and
communication barriers .
Knowing the impact this has on patients will help health care professionals
to better approach their patients and being
able to have a better understanding of the origin of the patients behaviour before making a diagnosis.
Health care professions
should study the the social norms which the individual is
coming from and avoid making judgments and comparison based of European social
norms. Another articles by Dr Lea on cultural difference in mental health ,
highlights the importance of taking into consideration the social norms of the
individuals culture before making a diagnosis as this also differs from culture
to culture .
A Recent immigrant to a European
country may seem abnormal and failing to function adequately, but could just be
facing the very different cultural landscape of their new home. Practitioners
needs to have an understanding of these multicultural issues in order to detect
whether the problem is one that need treatment or adjustment.
Must treatment systems are
developed in the West and cannot serve as a universal framework for all
cultures because what is deemed as abnormal could be normal in a another..
For example if an individual
said they could hear the voices of their dead ancestors ,Whether they would be
considered as mentally ill or not would depend on the country and culture they
lived in .
The psychologist should avoid
jumping to conclusions about the individual and what they believe to avoid offending
them. Misunderstandings or ignorance may be seen as a lack of respect and lead
to physical violence and other issues.