HomeAsian AmericansSen. Hirono introduces bill to tackle mental health stigma

Sen. Hirono introduces bill to tackle mental health stigma

US Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) has introduced a bill in Congress that is designed to address mental health stigma in Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

According to Maui Now, the Stop Mental Health Stigma in Our Communities Act would instruct the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to provide better outreach and education services to the AANHPI community.

“Economic, cultural, and language barriers prevent too many members of the AANHPI community from accessing critical mental health care,” Sen. Hirono said in a news release, according to Maui Now. “Establishing a community-informed national outreach and education strategy is critical to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health care in AANHPI communities.”

The bill requires the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to work closely with local advocacy and behavioral health organizations on strategies to combat mental health stigma. It also calls for greater research to disaggregate data on mental health among AANHPI youth and AANHPI providers of behavioral health services.

Sen. Hirono also recently reintroduced a bill with Cory Booker called the Real Education and Access for Healthy Youth Act. According to Big Island News, the bill’s goal is to improve access to sex education and sexual health services for young adults.

“Currently, too many young people across our country are deprived of access to comprehensive, evidence-based sex education and sexual health services,” said Sen. Hirono, according to Big Island News.

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