Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Alicia Quella PhD, PA-C


The country of Costa Rica often ranks high on happiness metrics and healthcare quality metrics. Mental healthcare in Costa Rica is often not discussed when reviewing those metrics. This paper attempts to explore mental healthcare in Costa Rica through a critical lens. Specifically, what factors affect the mental health of Costa Rican’s, if they experience mental health issues at the same rates as other areas of the world, what access is like, the prevalence of stigma surrounding mental illness, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected mental health. Through literature review and conversing with locals, it was found that mental healthcare in Costa Rica needs improvement. Funding research studies, the creation of campaigns to reduce stigma, increasing funding for outpatient mental health services, and providing more training on mental illness for primary care physicians are areas in which the Costa Rican healthcare system can improve.


SC 11.PAS.2021.Decelles.C