4 Organizations Fighting For The Mental Health Of Asian Americans

“There is a powerful stigma surrounding mental illness in Asian American communities which is causing a crisis for their mental health. In a 2010 study of Asian Americans’ use of mental health services, participants said the primary factor preventing their use of mental health services was due to it being looked down on in their communities.

How exactly does this stigma against mental illness work within Asian American communities? Here’s what it looked like for me.”

Mental health and seniors: fighting stigma with normalization

This article from the Philly Voice discusses what stigma is, how it influences our understanding of mental wellness, and what we can do to challenge it’s impact and work toward a healthy dialogue about mental health with the older adults in our lives.

To improve minority mental health, research must put patients first

“One of our greatest challenges is in helping patients in minority communities live with serious mental illness. One in six U.S. adults has an illness like depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorder, but African Americans are 10 percent more likely, and Latinos 40 percent more likely, to experience serious psychological distress than non-Hispanic whites. And those minority populations are only half as likely to receive needed treatment or counseling as non-Hispanic whites. Statistics are even worse for American Indians and Alaska Natives… So how do we make a dent in these discouraging statistics? It will require a multi-pronged approach.” Click the title to access the full article from The Hill.

Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity

The Office of the Surgeon General, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institute of Mental Health, and SAMHSA have compiled a supplemental report to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Check out some of our favorite quotes below, or click the title to access the whole report.

How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease: An Interview with Jonathan Metzl

“Before the 60s, Ionia doctors viewed schizophrenia as an illness that afflicted nonviolent, white, petty criminals, including the hospital's considerable population of women from rural Michigan… By the mid- to late-1960s, however, schizophrenia was a diagnosis disproportionately applied to the hospital's growing population of African American men from urban Detroit. Perhaps the most shocking evidence I uncovered was that hospital charts "diagnosed" these men in part because of their symptoms, but also because of their connections to the civil rights movement.” Click the title for the entire article by Psychology Today.

Infographic: Minority Mental Health

Click the title to check out this infographic on minority mental health by Mental Health America. It breaks down the U.S. population by race/ethnicity, the prevalence of mental health and substance use issues among minorities, barriers to getting help (hint: stigma), and some interesting trends in mental health screening.

Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations

The American Psychiatric Association has compiled 9 factsheets around mental health in diverse populations, which “provide a snapshot of the current state of mental health of minority populations and some factors that may contribute to mental health disparities among these groups.”

Talking about depression can be hard for Asian Americans, but services can help

This piece explores suicide and depression in the Asian American population, identifying suicide “as the ninth leading cause of death among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the 10th leading cause of all deaths in the U.S.”