Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Joseph, Rigaud


Mental health services in the United States have been underutilized despite the fact that millions of Americans suffer from mental health issues. Previous research has largely ignored the views of Hispanics in the Inland Empire. This qualitative study fills this gap in the literature by exploring the underutilization of mental health services among monolingual Spanish-speaking parents in the Inland Empire. This study consisted of 30 participants (N = 30) with whom semi-structured interview were conducted. 12 themes emerged from the analysis of the data. These themes vary from one another and reflect (a) understanding of mental health, (b) stigma, (c) multiple mental health advice sources, (d) alternative sources to mental health services, (e) language, (f) mental health insurance coverage, (g) awareness of mental health and mental health services, (h) strategies for raising awareness about mental health programs in the community, (i) mental health services and privacy terms, (j) financial incentives, (k) voluntary nature of mental health services, and (l) collaboration between mental health agencies and local churches. These findings carry implications for mental health stakeholders at both national and subnational levels. Social workers can use these findings to better understand how to serve their Hispanic clients (micro practice) and advocate for more effective strategies aimed at increasing their participation in mental health services (macro practice).

Keywords: monolingual Spanish-speaking parents, underutilization of mental health services, Inland Empire, qualitative research, social work practice

Included in

Social Work Commons