Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Michael Chovanec


Social Work


The population of African immigrants in the United States is increasingly which highlights the need for culturally sensitive and appropriate mental health services addressed. The purpose of this study was to break barriers of accessing mental health service by the Somali community in Minnesota. Using the systemic review design, data was collected from research articles on mental illness in Somali communities in the North America. The objectives of this systemic review were to synthesize the information available on perceptions, denial and stigma related to Somali population in the United States. The databases Social Work Abstracts, and PsycINFO were systemically searched for articles between 2009 and 2016. The search items included key words such as Somali, mental health and mental illness in Somali culture.

The results of this research assists mental health professionals to better understand the impact of cultural views on the Somali population. The study found Somalis suffering from mental illness face several barriers including language and stigma. Findings of this study supports the need for mental illness awareness and educating Somalis about mental health treatments that are available in the North America. It's critical that professional mental health service providers become culturally aware of mental health perceptions of their Somali patients.

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