Understanding mental health needs of Southeast Asian refugees: Historical, cultural, and contextual challenges

Eugenia Hsu, Corrie A. Davies, David J. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Research and clinical information pertaining to mental health needs of Asians residing in the United States is limited but growing. There is a tendency to group all persons of Asian descent together and, therefore, the empirical literature does not sufficiently address the mental health needs in specific subgroups. The focus of this article is to understand the mental health needs of one subgroup of Asians - Southeast Asian refugees (SEAR). The main purpose is to review the relevant literature pertaining to Southeast Asian refugees' experiences and to understand the manifestation of psychiatric disorders by examining historical, cultural, and contextual challenges. Despite the well-documented mental health needs for SEAR, most do not present for mental health services. Therefore, resilience and protective factors are discussed. Research and clinical implications are described and suggestions are offered on how to apply information obtained from Southeast Asian refugees' experiences to future refugees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-213
Number of pages21
JournalClinical Psychology Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Cultural issues
  • Mental health
  • Protective factors
  • Refugees
  • Southeast Asian

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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