SEARAC-sponsored CA legislation to improve cultural and linguistic competence in mental health, passes off the Assembly floor

SACRAMENTO, CA SEARAC applauds the leadership of CA Assemblymember Phil Ting (AD-19) and the CA State Assembly for voting Assembly Bill (AB) 512 off of the Assembly floor and into the CA State Senate.

Almost 45 years later, Southeast Asian American (SEAA) refugees, immigrants, and families are still struggling to heal from war and resettlement trauma. SEAAs have not been able to access the mental health care they need due to cultural stigma and lack of culturally and linguistically competent mental health services, leaving many undiagnosed and untreated. When emotional wounds are left unhealed, the pain carries over to the next generation-what is known as intergenerational trauma. In addition to intergenerational trauma, second- and third-generation SEAAs are impacted by the conditions in their neighborhoods, pressure of assimilation, and achieving the “American Dream.” For these reasons, SEARAC took on the effort to co-sponsor AB 512 – Cultural Competence in Mental Health.
Nkauj Iab Yang, director of California policy and programs, said, “We applaud the 68 California assemblymembers who voted in favor of mending our broken mental health care system. Underserved communities like the Southeast Asian American community have endured generations of trauma in the United States, and we must prioritize improving culturally and linguistically appropriate  mental health services to increase access for all communities.”
Yia Xiong, director assistant of the Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County (HCCBC), previously shared in her powerful testimony, “AB 512 improves the cultural competence of county mental health plans, making mental health services more accessible for the Hmong community to access lifesaving care and end the war they relive every day.”
Does your senator know how important culturally and linguistically competent mental health services are to you and your family? As AB 512 moves through to the State Senate, we need your voice and your support to let your representatives know how improving culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services can help you and/or a loved one.

TAKE ACTION: Support our sponsored mental health CA bill by telling us your mental health story

Take five minutes to fill out SEARAC’s Mental Health Story Collection – California to help identify gaps in mental health services and develop community-defined policy solutions in order to improve mental health services for the Southeast Asian American community.
Your story will also help advocate to California state legislators why they should support AB 512: Cultural Competence in Mental Health and will be included in a bigger statewide #Care4MyCulture campaign to improve cultural competence in California’s mental health delivery system.