School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


Lisa Sosin


community mental health, ethnically tailored, faith based, immigrant community, minority health and mental health, service delivery model


Mental and Social Health | Social Work


Disparities in health and mental health service utilization among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S. are well documented, with many studies having identified accessibility to linguistically and culturally informed services as a key barrier to service utilization. Korean Americans in particular, being the most recent immigrant group of Asian Americans, reportedly suffer from higher rates of depression and anxiety than other Asian American groups. There is, however, some indication that Asian Americans do utilize ethnicity-specific programs at a higher rate than mainstream services when such services are made available to them. Therefore, this study seeks to investigate and explain the case of the Washington Christian Counseling Institute (WCCI), an organization that utilizes an innovative mental health service delivery approach to address the mental health needs of the Korean American immigrant community in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It is hoped that the study contributes to developing a model for meeting the mental health needs of immigrant communities of similar cultural backgrounds in the US. The method used for this study is an intrinsic descriptive case study that is historical and sociological in orientation, utilizing record reviews, observations, and in-depth interviews for data collection. The key findings of this case study rendered a set of guiding principles that can help to create and maintain a mental health service delivery for under-served ethnic minority communities, which is ethnically-tailored, community-centered, and faith-based and promotes multi-level collaboration and integration.