A Look at the Mental Health Stigmas Faced by Asian Americans

February 03, 2023

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


Asian Americans may face more barriers to accessing mental health than other groups. Some of those barriers are cultural, such as a stigma against seeking help in some Asian communities. And a lack of culturally competent mental health care may lead those who do seek help to feel misunderstood by their clinicians. “There’s a lot of core ideas in therapy and the mental health field that clash directly with what we typically learn as values as Asians,” said Adora Du, founder of FAUNA Mental Health, a nonprofit that offers mental health resources for Asian and BIPOC communities. “For example, you may be told that others shouldn’t be overly reliant on you, but in Chinese culture you are expected to take care of those around you. That is part of who you are and what society values.” Du recommends mental health providers learn about these cultural differences and how they may affect treatment. Employers can also play a role in normalizing mental health care for workers of all backgrounds by encouraging them to take advantage of counseling and other supports on a regular basis instead of just in a crisis.

Spark Extra! Learn about culturally competent approaches to preventing suicide.