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.