Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Smith, Laurie


This study examined whether Latino immigrants’ community environment influenced perceptions about the meaning of mental health and accessing mental health services. The two environments analyzed in were an exclusively Latino community (primarily Latino members) and a diverse community (composed of different ethnicities including Latinos). The research method used in this study was a qualitative survey design. A semi-structured interview guideline with questions on the meaning of mental health, mental health services access, and community norms on mental health was utilized with 24 respondents. Responses were then analyzed to find themes. Findings from this study found similarities as well as differences in the two groups in seeking mental health services. Differences were more commonly in the details of the responses rather than in the themes of the responses. The finding will help social workers, who provide a large percentage of mental health services, understand the individual, the barriers, and the importance of social environments in seeking mental health services.