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Emerging from the Shadows cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-911386-2
    • 7.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 132 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-911387-9
    • 7.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 132 pages
  • Keywords
    • Help-seeking behaviour,
    • Mental health care,
    • Mental illness,
    • Race-related behaviour,
    • York University,
    • Academic psychology,
    • Study impact of race

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Emerging from the Shadows
Racialized Students’ Mental Health
by Rodrick J. Lal

Emerging from the Shadows aims to enlighten academics, researchers, university students, and the general public about the development of mental health services in a university environment—with a special focus on racialized students. Based on research exploring the perceptions of racialized and non-racialized students at York University towards seeking help for mental health problems, this book collects the findings gleaned from nearly 500 students. The majority (84%) identified as Canadian racialized, mainly Asian, South Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and African. The remainder were Canadian non-racialized students identifying with the dominant Canadian culture. The study results showed that the shadows of attitudes and intentions toward seeking help were more negative among the racialized students, and a higher level of stigma was found to be a predictor of negative attitudes and lower intentions towards seeking mental health counselling among the racialized students. Interestingly, stigmatization among the racialized and non-racialized male students was higher than among the female students, while older racialized students tended to have higher positive scores for attitudes toward seeking help than younger students reported. Attitudes toward seeking help were more positive among the students who lived with their families. Previous mental diagnosis was also a significant predictor of a more positive attitude toward seeking help. Yet despite these findings, very few students in both groups used the counselling services or the online information system at York University to obtain support on mental health issues. Emerging from the Shadows sheds light on this still-taboo subject to enable educators and student communities to increase their awareness, enabling improvement to systems designed to help—especially for those racialized students in need.

Rodrick J. Lal photo

Rodrick Lal is a professional Registered Clinical Counsellor (RCC) and Canadian Certificate Counsellor (CCC). In his work as a mental health and school counsellor, he has utilized a variety of psycho-social modalities to engage high school, and university students with a focus on supporting, racialized and international students. He was engaged for five years as a Mental Health Consultant/Co-investigator on a large national research project (“Strength in Unity,” funded by the Movember Foundation, the first of its kind in Canada), that tested interventions (Acceptance and Commitment Training and Contact-Based Empowerment) to address stigma in Asian communities, and promote inclusion into Canadian Society. He resides in Toronto and Vancouver with his partner.


Rodrick J. Lal

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