It is important to receive help as soon as possible for relief from psychological symptoms for yourself or your loved one. In the Asian community, the groups that are especially vulnerable to mental illness are those who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder due to immigration, as well as those experiencing national trauma in war-torn countries, and exposure to catastrophic violence.
Studies have shown that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders face particular difficulty with accessing mental health services. Barriers such as language, culture and little access to care keep many API Americans from receiving help for mental illness. Because strong cultural values align with self-reliance and fear of shame to their families, Asians tend not to seek help until they are very ill. Here are some educational resources on mental health from an Asian perspective:
Mental Health and Asian Americans Facts (from The Office of Minority Health)
- Suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for Asian Americans, and also was the 10th leading cause of death for White Americans, in 2009.1
- Older Asian American women have the highest suicide rate of all women over age 65 in the United States.2 In 2008, the suicide rate for that group was 1.3 times greater than it was in the White population.
- Southeast Asian refugees are at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with trauma experienced before and after immigration to the U.S. One study found that 70% of Southeast Asian refugees receiving mental health care were diagnosed with PTSD.3
- For Asian Americans, the rate of serious psychological distress increases with lower levels of income, as it does in most other ethnic populations.
- The overall suicide rate for Asian Americans is half that of the White population.
“Asian Mental Health Inside Out”, A perspective on Mental Health from an Asian perspective
National Study on Asian American Mental Health finds second generation is more likely than their immigrant parents to have emotional disorders.