Mental Health and Well-Being Among Tamil Youth of Sri Lankan Origin Living in Toronto: A Mixed Methods Approach
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Literature on the mental health of Tamil youth of Sri Lankan origin living in Canada is scant. In this study, I applied an interpretive descriptive approach to explore, discover, and understand the meanings, beliefs, practices, and experiences of health, well-being, and mental health of thirteen first and second-generation Sri Lankan Tamil youth. I used a convergent parallel mixed methods research design and applied an emancipatory approach to informing culturally competent mental health nursing practice, influenced by critical race, postcolonial feminist and intersectionality theories. Parents, the Tamil community and Tamil culture emerged as major themes reflecting the important roles they play in Tamil youths mental well-being. Experiences related to the Sri Lankan civil war/genocide and immigration appear to impact both collective and intergenerational trauma and resilience. Recommendations include applying a holistic, trauma-informed and integrated/multilevel approach, including traditional and collective methods of healing, capacity building and recognition/acknowledgement of the Tamil Genocide.