Date of Graduation

Winter 12-14-2018

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Behavioral Health (MSBH)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Dr. Dory Escobar


Undocumented individuals are subject to stressors that may exacerbate existing mental health problems or proliferate new mental health illnesses. Due to unjust historical and current institutional and systemic policies the undocumented population accesses mental health services at a rate far below the general population. As a result, this vulnerable community is left with untreated mental health conditions and is further entrenched in a cycle of inequity. In an effort to address this alarming reality we based a review of relevant literature to identify recommendations to increase access to mental health services among the United States undocumented population. Additionally, a simulation was conducted with mental health providers from seven counties in California (San Francisco, Fresno, Sonoma Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Joaquin) to assess their response to requests for service from undocumented individuals. Our recommendations include: (1.) Altering the provision of care in order to eliminate obstacles that undocumented individuals face in accessing treatment, (2.) Advancing research regarding the mental health needs of undocumented individuals in the U.S, (3.) Enforcing current regulations to ensure providers offer culturally and linguistics appropriate services, and the (4.) Implementation of county wide access lines.