Designing a Mental Health Education Program for South Asian International Students in United States

  • Ashutosh Atri University of Cincinnati
  • Manoj Sharma University of Cincinnati


Migration predisposes international students to problems related to mental health. Students from Asia experience a totally different culture when they move to the United States. Within Asia there are several heterogeneous subgroups and one such group is that of South Asians or the students from the Indian Subcontinent that share somewhat similar culture. Often due to achievement of academic success this group is considered a “model minority” group but that is not the case when we see mental health issues. Hence, the purpose of this study was to identify predictors of mental health and psychological well being in the migrant student populations from South Asia and design recommendations for a health education intervention for this population. An extensive search of CINAHL, ERIC, MEDLINE, and Google scholar was done. It was found that predictors have been classified into three main research domains: personal growth, subjective well being, and those related to stress resistant personality. A more pragmatic classification was done that classified the factors into easily modifiable and non modifiable groups with a further break down into individual and environmental factors. For designing health education interventions modifiable individual level modifiable constructs such as acculturation, competence, coping, English proficiency, life satisfaction, religiosity, self esteem, social efficacy, and social support, must be targeted one at a time. Efforts must be made to build skills as opposed to mere cognitive development and the health education interventions must be culturally competent.
How to Cite
Atri, A., & Sharma, M. (2006). Designing a Mental Health Education Program for South Asian International Students in United States. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 4(2), 144-154.

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