Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 4 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

The Bio-Psycho-Social Model and culture

Exploring social factors associated with mental health in the context of an individuals culture
© 2020, Anglia Ruskin University

We can use the Bio-psycho-social model to reflect on factors associated with an individual’s culture.

Culture is most often related to the social factors associated with the development of mental health conditions. However, it is important to recognise that culture can influence mental health in a variety of different ways:

Biological

Psychological

  • Overlapping with the issue of causation, is the need to be aware that cultures will have different viewpoints on causation, and it is important to consider the individual’s personal beliefs around why they are suffering from symptoms of mental illness. For example, Lim et al. (2018) comment on the view that within some Muslim populations, hallucinations are a result of Djinn possession.
  • Cultures view mental health in different ways, and an individual cultural identity may result from stigmatised beliefs and attitudes around the experience of mental health. Self-stigmatised beliefs may make it hard for individuals to seek help.

Social

  • As with self-stigmatised beliefs, a wider stigmatised belief within a community may make or present barriers in the ability to seek help and support from others in the community.
  • Conversely some cultures may be open and supportive, providing a positive environment to discuss mental health difficulties.
Watch this video on cross cultural perceptions of mental health.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

© 2020, Anglia Ruskin University
This article is from the free online

Understanding Mental Health: Continuum, Culture and Social Media

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now