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. SEAAs also have disproportionate experiences with mental health challenges, including major depression, PTSD, and other anxiety disorders. SEAAs also have disproportionate experiences with mental health challenges, including major depression, PTSD, and other anxiety disorders. 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 2017
    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.


  • Diverse Elders Coalition’s Resources for Providers: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Family Caregivers Toolkit
    This toolkit offers topline information on what providers need to know, and key pieces from our comprehensive training curriculum, Caring For Those Who Care: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Family Caregivers. Whether you’ve already attended one or more of our trainings, or this is your first time looking into what’s available to help you support diverse family caregivers, we think you’ll find these resources to be invaluable in building a more welcoming, supportive practice. *The Caring For Those Who Care: Meeting the Needs of Diverse Family Caregivers Curriculum, as well as this toolkit, were created by the 6 members of the Diverse Elders Coalition, with generous funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation
  • 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:

ACA Open Enrollment Period Begins

The 2023 Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare marketplace open enrollment period is here. SEARAC encourages uninsured individuals and those seeking ...
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/ Health, National

SEARAC, CPEHN, The Cambodian Family, and Partner Organizations Across California Celebrate Our Right to Heal

Last week, SEARAC joined our California-based advocacy and health services partners to host a virtual education and civic engagement event ...
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/ Health, National, Press Room

SEARAC celebrates passage of Inflation Reduction Act

For Immediate Release: August 16, 2022 Media contact: Elaine Sanchez Wilson Director of Communications and Development 202-601-2970 WASHINGTON, DC ...
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/ Health, National, Press Room

SEARAC Celebrates Rep. Judy Chu’s Resolution Recognizing May 10th as AANHPI Mental Health Day

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2022 Media contact: Jenna McDavid Communications and Development Manager 202-601-2972 WASHINGTON, DC -- SEARAC ...
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/ Health, National

SEARAC Applauds Reintroduction of Health Equity and Accountability Act

Washington, DC - Today, SEARAC applauds the reintroduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act (HEAA). Introduced by US Rep. Robin ...
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/ Health, National, Press Room

Latest CA health and aging news:

Register for “Right To Heal: Centering Mental Health Multi-Racial Equity in California”

SEARAC is proud to be a co-host of the 2022 Right to Heal: Centering Mental Health Multi-Racial Equity in California ...
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/ California, Health

Medi-Cal’s Health4All Older Adults Fact Sheets

On May 1, 2022, Health4All Older Adults, also known as Older Adult Expansion, was launched in California, allowing all eligible ...
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A Right to Heal: Mental Health in Diverse Communities

“A Right to Heal: Mental Health in Diverse Communities" presents findings from a series of in-person and virtual listening sessions hosted ...
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Join us for a virtual workshop series on the mental health needs of Southeast Asian Americans in Butte County, CA

SEARAC is joining the Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County and the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission ...
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/ California, Health

California Governor Newsom’s Budget Expands Health Care Access for Undocumented Southeast Asian Americans

Sacramento, CA - On Jan. 10, California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $222 billion budget for fiscal year 2020-2021, increasing access ...
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/ California, Health