Muslims underutilize Formal Mental Health Services (FMHS) to enhance their quality of life or address their biopsychosocial spiritual and economic issues. Muslims are understudied and underserved. There is a need for theoretically well-grounded research. Therefore, we partially tested a contextual theoretical framework entitled understanding Muslims’ approach toward mental health issues and services based on Theory of Planned Behavior and Theory of Reasoned Action (TPB/TRA) in the context of Social Ecological Model (SEM). We had 209 (120 male) Muslims from Southeastern USA as the participants. We used descriptive statistical and path analyses. We answered seven research questions about how the Muslims approach mental health issues and FMHS in terms of four background variables (e.g., sex, education, race, and past use of FMHS) and the following five constructs. In terms of path analyses results, cultural beliefs about mental health issues and their causes and treatments (1st construct) and knowledge (2nd construct) toward FMHS and the background variables all together explained 36% of the attitudes (3rd), 13% of the stigma (4th), and 28% of the Perceived Behavioral Control (PBC: self-efficacy, 5th) toward FMHS. The paths among the five constructs were significant except for the path from knowledge to stigma. The Muslims had slightly higher than the moderate level on cultural beliefs, knowledge, and PBC; a moderately favorable level on attitudes; and slightly under the moderate level for PBC. The Muslims did not strongly favor or disfavor the constructs. The Muslims strongly aligned with a medical/scientific explanation of mental health issues and their causes and treatments. For the use of FMHS in the past: 63.63% (133 Muslims) reported they have never while %36.36 (76 Muslims) reported use of FMHS. We provided implications for researchers, mental health providers, educators, and social advocates who can be part of advancing quality of life and/or addressing related issues.
Muslims’ approach to mental health, cultural beliefs, attitudes, social stigma, social ecological model