Since 2009, when former President Barack Obama signed Proclamation 8369, the month of May has become a time to remember and celebrate the achievements, contributions and sacrifices made by generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). However, this time of year also calls attention to an aspect of human life that has historically been largely ignored in many parts of the world: mental health.
May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, a congressional designation that began in 1949 in response to the growing number of veterans who suffered from mental health issues after World War II. Mental health, however, is discussed in hushed tones in several AAPI communities, where social stigma unfortunately persists.
The past few years have especially been difficult for many members of these communities, who have suffered not only the physical and economic toll of a raging pandemic, but also emotional and physical abuse from hate-filled perpetrators. Official statistics are believed to be skewed as victims refuse to report their experiences, and by extension, the impact such events or incidents have had on their mental health.
In line with supporting AAPI community members and breaking outdated stereotypes, we have compiled 10 mental health resources that are culturally relevant to AAPIs.
Check them out below:
1. Anise Health
Anise Health is a platform that offers a combination of one-on-one therapy, coaching and self-service digital tools that “acknowledge cultural context and address your unique needs as part of the Asian community.” You are asked to fill in an intake survey about what you are looking for, which will then generate recommendations for services tailored to your needs.
2. Asian American Psychological Association
Founded in 1972 by Asian American psychologists and other mental health professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) focuses on education, research and professional practice to advance Asian American psychology. The organization currently has nine divisions, namely: Women, LGBTQ, South Asian Americans, Southeast Asian Americans, Filipinx Americans, Multiracial and Adopted Asian Americans, Students, International Students and Professionals, and Practice.
3. Asian Mental Health Collective
The Asian Mental Health Collective (AMHC) is an extensive resource platform that provides a directory of therapists, communities, events and other resources for AAPIs. It aims to “normalize and de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community” and “make mental health easily available, approachable, and accessible to Asian communities worldwide.”
4. Asian Mental Health Project
The Asian Mental Health Project is a resource-rich platform with a focus on events. Over the weekend, the organization will hold an “Honor Your Feelings” Fest at California Marketplace in Los Angeles, featuring panel discussions, movement workshops, live music, a community marketplace, mental health resources and more.
5. Asians Do Therapy
Content platform Asians Do Therapy, living up to its name, highlights stories of Asians from all backgrounds who have benefited from therapy. It runs a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.
6. Asians for Mental Health
Created to help Asians feel “seen, heard and empowered in their journeys towards better mental health,” Asians for Mental Health is a directory of AAPI therapists across the U.S. You can search them by state and narrow down by practice type, focus of therapy, age group focus and languages used.
7. National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse
8. National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
9. Project Lotus
Project Lotus is an anti-stigma nonprofit that confronts the model minority myth head-on. It features stories, webinars and a podcast all dedicated to empowering AAPI mental health.
10. The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA) provides an expansive resource database for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, including services available in all 50 states. Its focuses include suicide prevention among youth, empowering mental health consumers, and promoting access to high-quality, affordable mental health services.
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