For Immediate Release:
May 11, 2022
Communications and Development Manager
WASHINGTON, DC — SEARAC applauds Rep. Judy Chu’s introduction of a resolution to recognize May 10th as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Mental Health Day. The resolution acknowledges the diverse needs of our communities as we access meaningful mental health services, including the need for culturally and linguistically competent care, the importance of disaggregated data to reveal true health disparities, and the de-stigmatization of mental health in AANHPI communities.
Southeast Asian Americans (SEAAs) have unique traumas that stem from war, genocide, and displacement as a result of the Vietnam War, Secret War in Laos, and Khmer Rouge Genocide. This history has led to mental health disparities among SEAA communities, including higher levels of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder
than the general public. One study found that 70% of Southeast Asian refugees in mental health treatment are diagnosed with PTSD.
“During the month of May, we honor Mental Health Awareness Month as well as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This is the perfect opportunity to resolve the decades of inadequate treatment endured by Southeast Asian Americans. The traumas of war and genocide have long gone unaddressed in our communities, and the impacts span generations,” said Quyên Đinh, SEARAC Executive Director. “Thank you to Representative Judy Chu for recognizing and uplifting the diverse cultural and linguistic experiences housed under the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander umbrella. This important resolution acknowledges both the need for our communities to have greater access to meaningful mental healthcare, especially during the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and anti-Asian hate, as well as the urgent need to eliminate the stigma of addressing mental health in the AANHPI communities.”