Health and Aging


Limited English proficiency and poverty prevent too many Southeast Asian American community members from receiving the care that they need. The traumatic experiences of war, genocide, and displacement left many Southeast Asian Americans with physical and mental health conditions that have gone untreated. Certain Southeast Asian American groups suffer disproportionately from hepatitis B and cervical cancer. Unfortunately, most state and federal health systems fail to tease out data on Southeast Asian Americans from “Asian Americans” overall, making it difficult to understand and address these disparities.

SEARAC fights to protect access to affordable health care coverage and promotes culturally and linguistically appropriate health and mental health care to address health disparities for our Southeast Asian American immigrant and refugee communities. SEARAC also calls for the disaggregation of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community data to equip communities and policymakers with accurate and targeted data-driven interventions. Our health work focuses on building the advocacy capacity of community-based organizations to advocate for systemic changes to deliver the health services our community needs.

Southeast Asian American elders have some of the highest rates of limited English proficiency of any ethnic group, and are more likely to live in poverty. SEARAC supports community-based organizations across the country who serve and support our elders. We also collaborate with the Diverse Elders Coalition to uplift the needs of diverse elders of color, native elders, and LGBTQ+ elders.


National health and aging news: READ MORE

California health and aging news: Read more


Key Resources

General health

  • California Cancer Facts & Figures 2016
    American Cancer Society. Includes disaggregated data showing the top five most common cancers for multiple Asian American sub-groups, plus Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.


  • Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up
    In 2016, the Diverse Elders Coalition partnered with Caring Across Generations to collect nearly 5,000 comments from our communities about what we need to age with health and dignity. Comments were collected in six languages from all 50 states and provided a snapshot of the challenges of aging in communities of color, LGBT communities, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities.
  • Southeast Asian American Elders #TellACL
    Infographic describing the socioeconomic and linguistic characteristics of the older Southeast Asian American population, along with quotes collected during the Diverse Elders Coalition’s #TellACL campaign.
  • Securing Our Future: Advancing Economic Security for Diverse Elders
    This report from the Diverse Elders Coalition, authored by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, describes the issues facing elders of color and LGBT elders, who together will represent a majority of older adults in the United States by 2050. The report also offers policy recommendations in several areas key to the well-being of older people, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, health care reform, and more.

Latest national health and aging news:

Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month by Demanding Culturally Competent Mental Health Services for AAPIs

May is both Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month. As we commemorate and celebrate how Asian American and ...
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/ AB 512, Health, National

Our Caregiving Survey is Now Available in Four SEAA Languages

Translations available in Hmong, Khmer, Lao, and Vietnamese Do you provide any type of physical, emotional and/or financial support to ...
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/ Aging, Health, National

White House Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Principles Reflect More of the Same Anti-Immigrant Hate

Proposed cuts to education, poverty, and health programs will further harm our communities Washington, DC - The Trump Administration released ...
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SEARAC Supports Senate Introduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018

Right step toward health justice for all Washington, DC-- SEARAC applauds Sen. Mazie Hirono's introduction of the Health Equity and ...
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/ Action Alerts, HEAA, Health, National, Press Room

Press release: National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and Southeast Asia Resource Action Center Host Immigration Report Briefings on Capitol Hill

"Dreams Detained, in Her Words" report highlights effects of detentions and deportations on the Southeast Asian American community Washington, DC-- Over ...
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/ Health, Immigration, National, Press Room

Latest CA health and aging news:

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 ...
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/ California, Health, Press Room

Lack of Access to Mental Health Services Impacts Southeast Asian Americans Facing Deportation

After fleeing war-torn countries, Southeast Asian refugees were resettled in some of the United States' most impoverished neighborhoods and received ...
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/ California, Health

Take Action: CA Residents, Tell Us Your Mental Health Stories

Are you a California resident who has accessed mental health services to heal from emotional trauma? Do you know someone ...
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/ AB 512, California, Health

SEARAC California Update

Southeast Asian American families and communities, along with immigrant, refugee, and families of color continue to experience the relentless attacks ...
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SEARAC Co-Sponsors CA Legislation to Improve Cultural Competence in Mental Health

Southeast Asian Americans experience high rates of PTSD, depression, and anxiety SACRAMENTO, CA - SEARAC has taken on the effort to ...
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/ AB 512, California, Health, Press Room