Month: July 2018

Healthy Mind Initiative Addresses Mental Health of Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth

By Victoria Chau, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

By Lieutenant Commander Kelly Leong
United States Public Health Service

By David J. Robles, B.A.
Graduate Intern, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

                              
From left to right: Dr. Victoria Chau, SAMHSA,  LCDR Kelly Leong , United States Public Health Service  and Mr. David J. Robles, SAMHSA

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness (NMMHA) Month—a practical time to highlight the importance of mental health for everyone. In a recent NIMHD Insights blog post, Dr. Xinzhi Zhang raised serious concerns about mental health awareness among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) youth and families. Suicide deaths have catapulted to the top as the leading cause of death for AAPI adolescents 12-19 years old in 2016.1 AAPI youth are the only racial/ethnic group for whom suicide is the leading cause of death, yet this is rarely discussed. The challenge of raising mental health awareness among AAPI communities is multifaceted but includes two key barriers: language issues and lack of culturally sensitive educators.

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