HomeHealthNew reports say AAPI mental health stigma persists

New reports say AAPI mental health stigma persists

Asian American and Pacific Islander adults are less likely to desire mental health assistance and seek inpatient mental health care, despite disproportionate rates of discrimination and instances of mental illness, a new report found.

According to a study by the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research (UCLA CHPR), 16 percent of Asian American adults and 24 percent of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults in California reported a desire for mental health assistance. These rates are lower or on par with the overall rate for California, which was 24 percent.

These groups, however, reported heightened anxiety around discrimination and safety.

50 percent of respondents from these groups indicated that they faced discrimination on a daily basis, with one fifth of Asian American respondents reporting that they have also experienced a hate crime, the UCLA CHPR reported.

The entire AANHPI sample was about 1.5 times more likely to fear gun violence compared to state data, the report wrote.

For those who do receive psychiatric assistance, AAPI patients in California were less likely to receive inpatient mental health support after a crisis, among the racial groups analyzed in a report by the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

In a press release by Elsevier, the study’s lead author Joyce Lui, an assistant professor of psychology at Concordia University, suggested culturally aware caretakers could be beneficial to AAPI individuals with mental health struggles.

The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) invited Ali Khawar, principal deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, to discuss these disparities in May.

On a national scale, Asian Americans are significantly likely to seek mental health help, even though approximately one in six experiences mental illness, according to AJMC.

Khawar said factors behind these statistics included stigma around mental health, awareness of mental illness, and access to resources in AAPI communities.

“I don’t think any of us view it as a character flaw. We don’t view it as something to be ashamed of,” he said to AJMC. “And the mere fact that it is a mental health or substance use condition should not shy you away from exercising your rights.”

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.


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