Date of Conferral





Human Services


Randy Heinrich


Traumatic depression is a system of experiences where the mind, heart, and gut track happenings lingering among systemic models of prevention and intervention and personal stories. This nonexperimental correlational study aimed to provide insights into mental help-seeking and employment hope among depressed Black/African American foster care male alums. The central research question was to what degree, if any, a positive relationship exists between employment hope and seeking access to mental health-related services among male foster care alums who identify with depression. It was hypothesized that a statistically significant relationship exists. The social cognitive career theory and theory of planned behavior were used as evidence-based strategic models to help promote understanding of economic reasoning and employability among this vulnerable population. Primary data were collected through online social media platforms by survey with 177 U.S. research respondents, exceeding the needed sample size (N = 128). Convenience sampling and snowball sampling methods were used. Data findings were exported from Qualtrics to SPSS (Version 28) to run a nonparametric test, Spearman Rho, as an analytic strategy for a bivariate analysis to help produce the findings. The measuring instruments included Mental Help Intention Seeking, the Short Employment Hope, and the Depression Sensitivity Index. The results indicated a nonmonotonic relationship between mental help-seeking and employment hope among the studied population. Although there was no significance in the findings, human services professionals can use the results to identify other barriers directly relevant to the foster alums’ community to promote assessing societal impacts experienced aftercare.