Authors: Ollie Trac, Alex Colson, Victoria McNeil, M.S., Jules Sostre, Della V. Mosley, Ph.D.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Della Mosley
College: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Being involuntarily hospitalized can be a traumatic experience and can induce feelings of fear and disempowerment (Seed, Fox, & Berry, 2016). Previous literature on involuntary hospitalization were lacking attention to the experiences of People of Color. However, race plays a powerful role in the quality of healthcare for People of Color (Hall, 1997; Feagin & Bennefield, 2014). To address health disparities in psychiatric care, cultural competence among healthcare providers must be improved (Hall, 1997). The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of People of Color’s traumatic involuntary hospitalization experiences. This study examined moments People of Color described as contributing to a traumatic involuntary hospitalization, and how People of Color made sense of these experiences. Six participant interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) and constructivist grounded theory methods. Initial data analysis revealed several preliminary themes: a) loss of autonomy; b) dehumanization; c) unnecessary physical force by authorities; d) invalidation and e) lack of trust in mental health professionals. These findings are critical in demonstrating experiences for People of Color in traumatic involuntary hospitalizations. The results can inform mental health policy aimed at reducing the trauma of involuntary hospitalizations and improving the well-being of People of Color.