King's College London

Research portal

Filipino help‑seeking for mental health problems and associated barriers and facilitators: a systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Article numberhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-020-01937-2
Pages (from-to)1397-1413
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume55
Issue number11
DOIs
Published1 Nov 2020

King's Authors

Abstract

Purpose: This systematic review aims to synthesise the evidence on behavioural and attitudinal patterns as well as barriers and enablers in Filipino formal help-seeking.

Methods: Using PRISMA framework, 15 studies conducted in 7 countries on Filipino help-seeking were appraised through narrative synthesis.

Results: Filipinos across the world have general reluctance and unfavourable attitude towards formal help-seeking despite high rates of psychological distress. They prefer seeking help from close family and friends. Barriers cited by Filipinos living in the Philippines include financial constraints and inaccessibility of services, whereas overseas Filipinos were hampered by immigration status, lack of health insurance, language difficulty, experience of discrimination and lack of acculturation to host culture. Both groups were hindered by self and social stigma attached to mental disorder, and by concern for loss of face, sense of shame, and adherence to Asian values of conformity to norms where mental illness is considered unacceptable. Filipinos are also prevented from seeking help by their sense of resilience and self reliance, but this is explored only in qualitative studies. They utilize special mental health care only as the last resort or when problems become severe. Other prominent facilitators include perception of distress, influence of social support, financial capacity and previous positive experience in formal help.

Conclusion: We confirmed the low utilization of mental health services among Filipinos regardless of their locations, with mental health stigma as primary barrier, while resilience and self-reliance as coping strategies were cited in qualitative studies. Social support and problem severity were cited as prominent facilitators.

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454