Top Articles about Asian American Mental Health

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.

TEDx Talks

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.


Asian American Mental Health Documentaries & Movies

Mental health and mental illness are very challenging topics to talk about or discuss, especially among Asians, Asian Americans and Asian Pacific Islanders. Real-life stories portrayed in films and movies can powerfully help people to start those discussions, to address these matters in an indirect way, and towards erasing shame.

Award-winning speaker and advocate Emily Wu Troung compiles this list of film documentaries about Asian Americans and mental health. Posted with permission. Thank you Emily! (show your thanks and like her Facebook page)

Films & Documentaries re: API Mental Health

“Looking for Luke” by Eric I-Hwa Lu & Elaine Coin
Facebook Page:

“Unbroken Glass” by Dinesh Sabu
Facebook Page:
Watch online @

Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Kristina Wong Website:
Trailer here:
Facebook Page:

“The S Word” by Lisa Klein 
Facebook Page:

Voices: Human & Untold Stories of Psychosis” by Gary Tsai & Hiroshi Hara
Trailer here:
Facebook Page:

Can” by Pearl J. Park 
Trailer here:

Silent War: Asian American Reckoning with Mental

The Laundromat” by Vanessa Yee 
Trailer here:
Facebook Page:

“Adultolescence” by Vicky Shen
Facebook Page:

The House of Suh” by Iris K. Shim
Facebook Page:
Free viewing on Hulu:

Children of the Camps” by Dr. Satsuki Ina

The Cats of Mirikitani” by Linda Hattendorf & Masa Yoshikawa

Dialogues with Madwomen” by Allie Light

Who’s Going to Pay for These Donuts, Anyway?” by Janice Tanaka

Raymond’s Portrait” by Donald C. Young

[attempted] “Things I Never Said” is a documentary seeking to inspire API groups to open up about their mental health issues. They’re raising funds for production costs via an Indiegogo crowdfunding in February-March 2019.

AAPI Mental Health Resources

The following are resources listed at this page of mental health resources for people of color, curated by the American Psychological Association (APA) :

Also see this list of top articles about Asian American mental health.