Although National Mental Health Day was honored last week, I found something that I believe is worth sharing especially given our current political climate with North Korea and China.
According to a study cited in a column in The Huffington Post entitled “A New Generation Of Therapists Is Fighting Asian-American Mental Health Stigma,” “Many Asian immigrants come from cultures that do not see mental illness as a legitimate illness.” They tend to wait until it is hard to recover before getting help. For those who do, they often do not stay for extended periods potentially because of a language barrier. There are communities of therapists who are actively trying to reduce the stigma around getting help. They host public workshops, health camps and community outreach programs in areas most affected by these issues. Mental health professionals are trying to encourage families to not hide their issues from each other and to not be as ashamed of common illnesses. They are also trying to hire more therapists who are native speakers, to augment the efficacy of treatment and diminish the chance for miscommunication between patient and therapist. The political posturing which has nothing to do with one’s nationality will hopefully not further stigmatize the Asians in this country. I hope they as with everyone receive they need. -Genevieve Franck