Literature suggests young people (YP) from ethnic minority backgrounds face barriers in accessing mental health support due to discrimination and stigma and so this study aims to explore how YP from ethnic minority backgrounds interact with online counselling.
The study used secondary data provided by Kooth, a digital mental health service for YP, for users who accessed the service from September 2020 to 2021 (N = 118,556). The users measure of need (YP-CORE) was assessed upon sign up to the service, and they also chose the ethnicity and background they felt best represented by. The study hypothesised the following: H1. There would be a significant difference between ethnic group of YP and source of referral; H2. There would be a significant difference in ethnic group of YP and YP-CORE score.
The one-way ANOVA and chi-squared analyses demonstrated a significant difference for both hypotheses indicating a significant association between source of referral and ethnicity, and a significant difference in measure of need when comparing YP who self-identified as White to those who self-identified as Asian.
Findings reveal school-based services are the most popular source of referral for all YP; however, a higher number of YP from Asian and Black ethnicities reached out through informal sources such as Google as opposed to health professionals such as GPs. From the data, YP who identified as Indian, Chinese and African present to online counselling at a lower level of distress compared to their White British counterparts, contradictory to findings investigating measure of need in face-to-face settings.
Patel, A., Sefi, A., Hanley, T., Conn, C. and Prescott, J. (2022), "An exploration in to how young-people from ethnic-minority backgrounds interact with online counselling", Mental Health and Social Inclusion, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 316-329. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHSI-05-2022-0032
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