2 historical events in Washington DC happened in January 2021: the insurrection and the inauguration. While these events affected all Americans and triggered concerns for people around the world, what did this mean for Asian Americans? Our 4 co-hosts can’t speak for all Asian Americans, but each of us can share our different perspectives.
On this first episode of season 5, you’ll hear the back stories of our 4 co-hosts: Hannah Lee Sandoval, George Xiong, Leah Abraham, and DJ Chuang.
Each will where they’re coming from along a diverse spectrum of four different Asian American perspectives: Chinese, Korean, Hmong, Asian Indian. And, we’ll talk about how erasing shame has brought us health and freedom for living; we’re talking about what matters.
- DJ Chuang’s back story—a longer version about managing mental health and his lived experiences with mood disorder
- There are 113 terms for shame in the Chinese language. (“The organisation of Chinese shame concepts?”, by Jin Li, Lianqin Wang, Kurt Fischer. Cognition and Emotion, 18:6, Sept 2004, 767-797)
- Shame, Live from Seattle (The Liturgists’ podcast episode)
- Podcast: Left, Right & Center (KCRW, NPR)
We’ve curated popular articles that talk about mental health and Asian Americans, a topic that is too often kept in silence, unfortunately. (initially posted in May 2019 for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month; more articles have since been added.)
articles about mental health and Asian Americans
“Suicide & Ethnicity: How Asian shame and cultural stigma make Asians prone to suicide in the U.S.” By Sam Louie, September 2019.
“Why Asian Parents Don’t Talk About Mental Health (and How to Heal From It)” By Leanna Chan in NextShark, May 2019.
The mental health toll of being a ‘model minority’ in 2020. By Kimmy Yam in NBC News, December 2020.
Speaking the Language: Psychotherapy With Students From Mainland China. By Wei Qi and Brunhild Kring in Psychatric Times, January 2021.
Asian Americans already face a mental health crisis. Coronavirus racism could make it worse. By Bethany Ao in The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 2020.
Mental Health Care Access Low Among Asian Americans. Emily Pond in Psychiatry Advisor, January, 2020.
‘A lot of differences’: Experts address health disparities among Asian American subgroups. By Yaodong Gu in Cronkite News, September, 2020.
Why don’t Asian Americans talk about their mental health? By Felicia Chen in The Chronicle, November 2019.
Mental healthcare for Cambodian, Vietnamese refugees limited by shortage of bicultural, bilingual providers. By Agnes Constante in Daily Pilot, September 2020.
“Why Asian Americans Struggle To Seek Therapy: Shame isn’t the only reason Asians and Pacific Islanders don’t seek mental health services. It’s a systematic problem, too.” By Carla Herreria in HuffPost Asian Voices, May 2019.
“My Mental Illness Did Not Prevent Me From “Succeeding, But The Stigma Nearly Did.” By Michelle Yang in HuffPost Personal, May 2019.
“HuffPost Hijacks Asian Woman’s Story on Mental Health Stigma with Racist Sub-Heading.” By Ryan General in Next Shark, May 2019.
“Why It Took So Long For My Asian American Parents To Accept My Decision To Take Antidepressants.” By Erika Vichi Lee in Bustle, May 2019.
“Why Are Young Asian Americans Killing Themselves? Social pressures, identity issues and mental health taboos play roles.” By Dongyao Nie in USC StorySpace Sites, 2018.
“Hiding my mental illness from my Asian family almost killed me. The silent shame of having a mental illness in a Chinese family.” By Amanda Rosenberg in Vox, June 2018.
“Southeast Asian Community Faces Uphill Battle for Mental Health.” by Donald A. Promnitz in The Business Journal, February 2019.
“She kept losing her eyesight, and no one knew why. Then a doctor asked about her mental health.” By Aneri Pattani in The Inquirier, January 2019.
“I Almost Didn’t Tell My Chinese Parents I Was Going To Therapy — Here’s Why I Did Anyway.” By Wendy Lu in Bustle, August 2018.
“We’re Fine: What’s Stopping Asian-American Millennials From Talking About Mental Health.” By Kimberly Truong in Refinery29, May 2018.
“We Really Need to Talk About Mental Health for Asian American Students.” By Thomas Ngo in Next Shark, December 2018.
“What Stops South Asians From Discussing Mental Health?” By Sejal Sehmi in Brown Girl Magazine, November 2018.
“4 Ways to Improve Access to Mental Health Services in Asian American Communities” By Connor Maxwell and Lisa Kwon, Center for American Progress, October 2018.
“Confronting Mental Health in Asian-American Communities Through Testimony and Art: The Asian American Literary Review drops an interactive, experimental issue centered on Asian-American mental well-being.” By Deepa Iyer in Colorlines, February 2017.
“A New Generation Of Therapists Is Fighting Asian-American Mental Health Stigma. Asian-Americans are 3 times less likely than whites to ask for mental health help.” By Rosalie Chan in HuffPost, October 2017.
“Asian Americans Are Undergoing a Silent Mental Health Crisis. The stigma’s still going strong.” By Rosalie Chan in Vice, September 2017.
“These 5 South Asian Men Are Opening up About Their Mental Health and Toxic Masculinity.” By Sheena Vasani in Brown Girl Magazine, August 2018.
“MannMukti: New Website for South Asians Struggling with Mental Health Issues.” By Jinal Shah in Brown Girl Magazine, May 2017.
“Why Asian-American Seniors Have High Rates Of Depression But Rarely Seek Help.” By Kimberly Yam in Huffpost, May 2017.
Asian-Americans Tackle Mental Health Stigma. By Katherine Kam in WebMD, February 2015.
This study examined Chinese shame concepts. By asking native Chinese to identify terms for shame, we collected 113 shame terms.“The Organisation of Chinese Shame Concepts.” Jin Li, Lianqin Wang, Kurt Fischer. September 2004, Cognition and Emotion 18(6): 767-797.
Audio & Video
Teens launch nonprofit to destigmatize mental health for Asian Americans: Four high school students said they founded Project Lotus as a response to their community’s stigma against mental health treatment. By Christelle Koumoué on KGW-TV 8, September 2020.
How The Asian American Community Is Destigmatizing Mental Illness. By Stephanie Kim on WBEZ Chicago, June 2019.
“South Asian women are using photography to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness” By Aneeta Bhole on SBS News Australia, September 2019.
“This Beauty Queen Uses Her Platform to Ease Mental Health Stigma in Asian American Community.” By Sonia Paul on KQED, May 2019.
“Minority college students might not get mental health help despite needs, study finds. The research analyzed survey responses from more than 60,000 college students at 108 schools.” By Charles Lam on NBC News, April 2019.
“How I Learned To Talk To My Filipino Mom About My Mental Health” By Malaka Gharib on NPR Morning Edition, March 2019.
“Chinese elders ‘walk the middle path’ to better mental health.” By Liz Tung & Jad Sleiman, on The Pulse /WHYY, September, 2018.
“New generation of Asian-American women are fighting to normalize mental health treatment.” By Stacy Chen on GMA /ABC News, September 2018.
“Talking about depression can be hard for Asian Americans, but services can help. Experts said isolation, social pressure, and war trauma can contribute to depression.” By Agnes Constante on NBC News, September 2018.
“Among Asian-American families, stigma still grips mental illnesses” By Bethany Wang on KPCC’s AirTalk®, June 2018.
“Heart to Heart” – Sydney Moondra at TEDxWilliamandMary, April 2019.
[Sydney created Dil to Dil (Hindi for ‘heart to heart’), as a public Instagram forum dedicated to eliminating mental health stigma in South Asian communities]
“My Near Death Experience” – Jessie Lam at TEDxTinHauWomen, January 2019.
“Successful Plan C” – Leo Huang at TEDxDiamondBar, August 2018.
“Dear Stranger” – Diana Chao at TEDxTeen, January 2018.
[Diana Chao founded Letter to Strangers, a youth-run nonprofit seeking to destigmatize mental illness and increase access to treatment for youth]
“The positive side of thinking about mental health” – Emily Wu Truong at TEDxYouth@DiamondBar, July 2017.
“Self-Love through Self-Identity” – Eileen Kim at TEDxWoodbridgeHigh, June 2017.
“Stigma Surrounding Mental Illnesses” – Tina Mai at TEDxIrvingtonHighSchool, July 2016.
“How to get stuff done when you are depressed” – Jessica Gimeno at TEDxPilsenWomen, November 2015.
“Shedding Light on Student Depression” – Jack Park at TEDxPenn, June 2015.
“Challenges and Rewards of a culturally-informed approach to mental health” – Jessica Dere at TEDxUTSC, April 2015.
“Op-ed: Intergenerational trauma affects mental health of Southeast Asian-Americans.” By Joseph Nguyen in Daily Bruin, April 2019.
“When We Shouldn’t Aim to Simply Carry On: The Mental Health Stigma Among Asian-Americans.” By Jennifer Yoo in In-Training, January 2019.
“Neglecting New Moms’ Health and Asians’ Mental Health: Readers discuss preventable maternal deaths and the lack of mental health services for the Asian community in New York.” Jo-Ann Yoo in The New York Times, October 2018.
“Opinion: Traditional Asian, Indian cultures contribute to stigmatization of mental illness. Teenagers get mixed messages about depression and anxiety, and it’s hurting them.” By Manasi Garg in The Mercury News, June 2018.
Know of other articles worth sharing? Please add more to this list.
We talk about trauma and healing amidst the cultural dynamics of Korean and Asian American families. Trauma-informed therapist Toni Kim joins co-hosts Helen Choi and DJ Chuang on this season 4 finale and explore how soju and jugeullae intersect with a culture of shame.
Toni D. Kim tonidkim.com – Holistic & Integrative Psychotherapy
Open Path Collective openpathcollective.org
“Can We Really Inherit Trauma?” Headlines suggest that the epigenetic marks of trauma can be passed from one generation to the next. But the evidence, at least in humans, is circumstantial at best. (New York Times, December 2018)
“Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Korean American Immigrants: Moving Toward a Community Partnership Between Religious and Mental Health Services” by Hochang B. Lee, MD. Psychiatry Investigation. 2008 Mar; 5(1): 14–20.
In this conversation with J.S. Park, you’ll hear the shocking revelation when he first learned that what he grew up with was not normal and actually tramatic, how he went from surviving to thriving, lived to tell about it, write about it, and helping others to experience health and wellness.
And, you’ll love the part where he talks about his high school experience that was like a Napolean Dynamite moment.
J.S. Park works as a hospital chaplain in Florida and author of “The Voices We Carry: Finding Your One True Voice in a World of Clamor and Noise.” He blogs at https://jsparkblog.com
J.S. Park’s new book – The Voices We Carry: Finding Your One True Voice in a World of Clamor and Noise
J.S. Park’s special high school moment – photo
One Andrew Yang launched a presidential campaign. Another Andrew Yang launches a newsletter about discovering strength through mental health in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Month in May 2020.
Listen to how this second Andrew dealt with his identity crisis, growing up in a collectivistic family in an individualistic society, how conflict can be good, and more.
Andrew Yang’s Heem Publication newsletter heem.substack.com
Helen and DJ have a lively and life-giving conversation with Emelda De Coteau (writer, podcaster, and creative) about COVID-19, grief and loss due to unemployment, anti-Asian racism, and vulnerable populations being heavily hit hard in poor communities in particular seniors homes, black neighborhoods, disabled and homeless and refugee shelters. How we can join together and support and be safe with self-care during this season of crisis. Count up all the practical tips and do the healthy things to be well.
Emelda will be co-leading this online event with another creative, Ebony Westbrook—Peace over Panic Workshop: Gratitude Journaling, Meditation & Sound Healing (May 3, 2020) – part of the ongoing series “Creating Through COVID-19“
- Women Creatives Chat – (check out the blog for posts on wellness / self care / empowerment)
- Pray with our Feet podcast
- Insight Timer App (thousands of meditations)
- Favorite meditation teacher – Sarah Blondin (on Insight Timer) insighttimer.com/sarahblondin
- Liberate app (meditation teachers of color whose work is supporting communities of color)
Crisis counselor David Dicken talks with Tyesa Harvey about the trauma and shame of the underworld of sex trade and prostitution.
Tyesa Harvey, co-founder of the Sex Crime Awareness Treatment Center (S.C.A.T), is passionate about working with women and children who have endured trauma, specifically related to sex crimes. Through the Center, Tyesa focuses on holistic healing as part of the rehabilitation efforts to help survivors of traumatic experiences reintegrate into society.
She was featured in “Shattered Dreams” – a sex trafficking documentary that has won several awards at film festivals.
WARNING: This episode has explicit content for mature audiences.
Crisis counselor David Dicken shares some practical tips for how to support your friends, family, and others during times of crisis like this worldwide COVID-19 pandemic by supporting people through making it safe to talk about feelings and emotions, then taking action that brings healthy relief.
Crisis text line: text HELLO to 741741 anytime for help and support for whatever you’re experiencing
Contact David Dicken at makesomeonegreattoday.com
Shame keeps us uncomfortable and paralyzed, but others help us find the way out. Jud Chun of Asian Mental Health Collective and subtle asian mental health chats with co-host DJ Chuang about how next generation Asians around the world are part of a growing social movement that’s ending the stigma and shame about mental health, where topics like depression and anxiety are discussed in a supportive online community. And, you’ll hear Jud’s response to one of the most frequently asked questions on his “Ask a Therapist” livestreams.
Subtle Asian Mental Health – Facebook group
Subtle Asian Traits – Facebook group
“How ‘Subtle Asian Traits’ Became a Global Hit” (New York Times, December 2018)