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Overcoming Challenges to Mental Health Services for Asian New Yorkers

Overcoming Challenges to Mental Health Services for Asian New Yorkers
  • By: Asian American Federation
  • Date: October 2017
  • Priority Area: Special Projects Fund
  • Type: Resources
  • Category: Report
  • Document: Download


This NYSHealth-funded white paper examines the pan-Asian community’s mental health service needs in New York City and provides policy recommendations to address those needs.

Mental illness is among the leading contributors of disease burden for New Yorkers, and the burden may be even more pronounced among Asian-American communities. In New York City, Asian Americans are the only racial group for which suicide is one of the top 10 leading causes of death. However, Asian Americans are less likely to seek and receive mental health care because of cultural stigma, insurance limits, and a dearth of culturally and linguistically competent service providers. Given the current trends, there is a need to develop strategies to reduce stigma and other barriers to mental health services, increase awareness of the mental health needs of pan-Asian residents in New York City, and foster greater collaboration between formal service systems and community resources to reach these residents.

NYSHealth awarded Asian American Federation of New York (AAF) a planning grant to identify and raise awareness of mental health issues affecting the New York City pan-Asian community and barriers associated with seeking and receiving care. Through the series of focus groups, interviews, and roundtable discussions, AAF found that four major challenges to mental health services exist in the Asian community. This white paper examines the challenges and provides a list of recommended solutions to address each one.