Hmong Mental Health Needs Assessment: A Community-Based Partnership in a Small Mid-Western Community

Ann Futterman Collier, Martha Munger, Yong Kay Moua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


The overall goal of this assessment was to verify the mental health needs of Hmong living in a mid-west community in order clarify the format, content, and feasibility of providing mental health services for Hmong in the future. Using a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) model, we held four focus groups with 36 men, women, adolescents and professionals, all of Hmong descent, as well as interviewed 28 individual medical, mental health, education, and social service providers in the Eau Claire community. Our Hmong sample was frequently unclear about what "mental" health meant, indicating a low level of mental health literacy. Results confirmed that there are significant mental health needs in this refugee and immigrant population. Participants described problems consistent with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders, and severe social stress and acculturation difficulties in every generation. Elder people and male adolescents were described as the most disaffected and in need of immediate services. It will be critical to address mental health literacy before designing future interventions. Treatment suggestions were provided with the intention of removing barriers and incorporating culturally sensitive methodologies, while continuing to work closely with our local mental health providers and Hmong leadership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Community-based participatory research
  • Hmong
  • Immigrants
  • Mental health
  • Mental health literacy
  • Under-served populations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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