In recent years, Asian Americans
have seen a marked increase in discrimination and attacks, and as a result, there’s been a major call for more mental health and wellness resources for the community.
“It is likely that many Asian Americans are struggling with vicarious (or secondary) traumatization, as they are exposed to violence toward Asians on social media,” says Jenny Wang, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who founded the
Asians for Mental Health platform. Wang adds that she is “very concerned that Asian Americans are being pushed to the brink of psychological burnout, and the recovery from this period will be extremely costly to our community.”
Given that Asian Americans are two to three times less likely to
seek mental health support than their white counterparts, per the American Psychological Association, it makes accessible mental wellness resources even more important.
“Asian Americans must start breaking free from the fabricated perfection of the
model minority myth, the saving-face mentality, and shame-based perspectives that keep many of us from asking for help because so many are suffering in silence,” Wang tells Bustle. “The more Asian Americans are willing to share about their experiences in seeking therapy and medication treatment, discussing their mental health struggles, and normalizing the conversation around mental health, the more effectively we can break the stigmas associated with seeking mental health care in the Asian community.”
Below, find 13 mental health and wellness resources for AAPI communities that aim to shatter the stigma around mental health and help people get the support they need.
1 The Asian Mental Health Collective
Asian Mental Health Collective is an organization that works to normalize and destigmatize mental health within the Asian American community by connecting AAPI mental health providers with clients and creating community in a private Facebook group. The AMHC also produces an “Ask a Therapist” video series, along with a podcast, resource library, and community blog, among other initiatives. 2 The Asian Mental Health Project
Founded by Carrie Zhang, the
Asian Mental Health Project works to empower and educate members of the Asian American community when it comes to seeking mental health care. It maintains a therapist database, hosts digital summits, and holds virtual check-ins with its community weekly. 3 Brown Girl Therapy Brown Girl Therapy is an online community founded by mental health professional Sahaj Kaur Kohli, MA, NCC. It focuses on promoting therapy and unpacking bicultural identity. Though the account began as a creative outlet for Kohli’s writing, per an Instagram post, she quickly noticed the lack of South Asian representation among mental health and wellness social platforms and has since worked to make these issues more visible by starting conversations about mental health through her weekly newsletters, digital workshops, and virtual meet-ups. 4 The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
Since it was founded in 2001,
NAAPIMHA has been on a mission to raise awareness about the role of mental health in the AAPI community, advocate for suicide prevention, create access to high-quality mental health services, and empower people to seek mental health support by working with both patients and community-led organizations. 5 Asians Do Therapy
Founded by Yin J. Li, a marriage and family therapist,
Asians Do Therapy was created to highlight Asian Americans’ experiences in therapy. The platform shares resources on how to find the right therapist, as well as videos and articles highlighting prominent Asian Americans who have publicly spoken about therapy. Individuals are invited to share their own stories on their website, as well as on the , which features both Asian therapists and clients alike. Asians Do Therapy podcast 6 Project Lotus Project Lotus is a youth-led organization working to challenge the model minority myth while empowering and educating the Asian American community about the importance of mental health. In addition to the group’s social platform and podcast, Project Lotus invites participants to contribute articles and opinion pieces about mental health issues that were once considered taboo — like depression, anxiety, or seeking therapy. 7 South Asian Therapists
With a focus on connecting South Asian clients with mental health professionals, the
South Asian Therapists database was founded by lawyer and activist Raj Khaira after seeing the volume of distressed messages her feminist organization the Pink Ladoo Project, which works to combat gender bias in South Asian customs, had been getting following its launch. The idea was to start a small list of therapists so Khaira could refer her followers, per the database’s website, but within the first three days of its launch in June 2020, more than 300 therapists responded. And the resource has only continued to grow. 8 The Misfortune Cookies Podcast
Launched in November of 2020 by friends Karl and Rachel, the
provides a space for Asian Americans to share their mental health stories while working to destigmatize conversations about the topic in the Asian American community. Misfortune Cookies podcast 9 Alyssa Mancao Alyssa “Lia” Mancao is a California-based psychotherapist who regularly hosts Instagram Live sessions to talk about mental health and self-care. She takes a holistic approach to mental health and wellness on her podcast as well as in her private practice; she talks about the value of reiki, for example, for reducing stress, increased relaxation, and an enhanced state of balance. 10 Brown Girl Trauma
Founded by therapist and author Nisha Patel, LCSW,
Brown Girl Trauma is an online community aimed at destigmatizing mental illness and empowering others to seek mental health support. With the intent to break the cycle of generational trauma, Patel uses her platform to speak to topics like dysfunctional families and healing from emotional abuse, among many other issues. 11 Laura Lu Laura Lu, MSc, RCC, is a San Francisco-based psychotherapist who regularly discusses how issues like racial trauma and internalized capitalism impact mental and emotional health. 12 Reflections With A Therapist Aparna Sagaram, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist based in Philadelphia who talks about the negative impacts of the model minority myth on her Instagram. She regularly posts advice about setting boundaries and resolving conflict in relationships, in addition to providing therapy IRL at Space To Reflect, a counseling service available to queer POC, couples, children of immigrants, and BIPOC.
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This article was originally published on
March 2, 2021