Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Cheryl Leuning


PURPOSE- To engage and empower Black people with a "Circle of Care and Hope" that helps them to overcome their unequal access to effective mental health treatment. PROJECT DESCRIPTION- Black people in the United States have experienced unequal access to effective mental health care treatment due to centuries of oppression by the dominant Caucasian culture in the United States. This history has caused many Black people to distrust the purely Western and Caucasian-dominated model of mental health treatment. In response to this problem the author has adapted and integrated three healing modalities: multiple Western, theoretically-based therapies; culturally appropriate practices for Blacks; and practices based on a Biblical worldview. The multiple Western, theoretically-based therapies include Self-Efficacy Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, 12-step chemical dependency treatments, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and Leninger's Theory of Culture Care Diversity and Universality. Culturally appropriate practices in Black communities include building trust, focusing on strengths instead of weaknesses, accounting for a community-based approach, and incorporating uniquely Black spirituality into caring interventions. The healing approaches based on Biblical worldview include the laying on of hands, anointing with oil, drinking of holy water, prayers, uplifting scripture readings, inspirational hymns, meditation and church fellowship. The synthesis of these three modalities form the author's "Circle of Care and Hope" model, a holistic, interventionist treatment approach. The model engages members of the Black community by first acknowledging their distrust, fear and cultural/communication differences. The model empowers Blacks with mental health resilience because of the inclusion of culturally appropriate and biblically based practices. The model also focuses on strengths versus weakness of Blacks. As a result, the model decreases stigma, labeling and distrust. It also increases awareness of mental health issues, treatment, and service utilization within the Black community. All of this promotes and sustains the healing journey in recovery. CONCLUSIONS- The author's "Circle of Care and Hope" ultimately increases mental health recovery and decreases the unequal mental health treatment access for Blacks. The approach will eventually improve the prognosis with culturally congruent, patient-centered and goal-related treatments.


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