Since the beginning of COVID-19, Asian-American communities have seen a horrific increase in discrimination and violence against them. Stop AAPI Hate, which tracks and responds to acts of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, reported nearly 3,800 hate incidents in the past year, noting that that represents only a fraction of the true number. And on March 16, eight people were killed in a mass shooting across the Atlanta, Georgia area, six of whom were Asian women. With the stress-related effects of the global pandemic also at play here, mental health resources that support AAPI communities are more crucial than ever.
Yet as the American Psychological Association notes, Asian Americans are three times less likely to seek mental health services than white people. According to the American Medical Student Association, this can be attributed to a number of factors, including the stigma of mental health and discrimination. As the report for AMSA continues, there are steps that need to be taken to improve access to these services, including destigmatization, education, and raised awareness around mental health issues.
Fortunately, there are organizations working to do just that. Ahead, seven mental health and wellness resources for Asian-American communities that not only provide guidance and support, but remind people in need that there should be no shame around seeking help.
As its website notes, the Asian Mental Health Project’s goal is to dispel the belief that living with mental health issues is a “choice or a sign of weakness” and “provide resources that are accessible to all.” It does this through guides on its site, online check-in series, and weekly discussions, among others.
The Asian Mental Health Collective’s goal is to destigmatize mental health among Asian communities, while working to make resources more accessible. It offers many through its site, such as crisis hotlines, an organizations directory, and therapist directories.
According to its site, the AAPA’s mission is to “advance the mental health and well-being of Asian American communities through research, professional practice, education, and policy.” There, you can find reports, fact sheets, and resources on topics surrounding bullying, mental health and self-care, and more.
Raj Khaira started South Asian Therapists after seeing a rise in distressed messages at the Pink Ladoo Project, a campaign which she also founded. After putting a call out for therapists and receiving an overwhelming response, this directory was started. Today, it serves as a resource for people specifically looking for South Asian therapists, and you can search its site to find one near you.
Inclusive Therapists seeks to make finding a therapist less overwhelming for people with marginalized identities. On its site, you can find therapists or get matched with one, and also explore mental health support through a list of books, websites, and articles.
Yin J. Li, MA LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist, founded Asians Do Therapy with the goal of normalizing therapy in Asian communities. Its site and Instagram highlight the experiences of Asian Americans in therapy in order to give inspiration and encouragement for those who might be hesitant to seek support, while also providing resources such as how to find the right therapist and when you should consider seeing one.
Clinical psychologist Jenny Wang, PhD, runs this Instagram account — and while she notes that it should not be used as therapy, she does provide guides and tips for AAPI communities, as well as links to Asian American and Canadian therapist directories.