The Mental Health and Well-Being of Older Immigrant Punjabi Women Living in Nova Scotia

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Dhillon, Sandeep
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Mount Saint Vincent University
With the increase of immigrants in the Maritime region, the mental health and well-being of older immigrant Punjabi women living in Nova Scotia needs to be understood. Given the increase of immigration in Nova Scotia, research needs to focus on how the experience of immigration may cause health issues for older immigrants. Because of the cultural stigmas and taboos associated with mental health in the Punjabi culture, there is a larger need than ever to focus on how older women from this cultural group deal with their mental health and well-being after immigrating to Canada. Guided by the social determinants of health and intersectionality feminist frameworks, this qualitative study interviewed five women about their life now in Nova Scotia, how they defined mental health and well-being, their migration experience, and how they experienced cultural issues. The following themes were identified: (a) having freedom yet not being free, (b) defining mental health as having a happy family, and (c) wanting to connect with other older Punjabi women in Nova Scotia. These findings demonstrate a need for understanding this cultural group and how they define mental health and well-being, and the need to develop culturally competent health care services in Nova Scotia.
Mental health, Punjabi women, Nova Scotia, immigration