The Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA) is encouraging efforts to promote mental health awareness in Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities.
CAPAA encourages community conversations to promote dialogue and to raise awareness about mental health issues among APIs in observance of Mental Health Awareness in Communities of Color Month. The Commission believes that reducing the stigma around mental health issues is key in increasing the numbers of APIs who seek treatment.
Earlier this year, student leaders at the University of Washington organized an API Mental Health & Wellness summit. More than 150 students and community members shared stories and attended workshops about how historical trauma, cultural attitudes, and identity relate to API mental health.
To improve mental well-being in API communities, a National Alliance on Mental Illness report recommended mental health services that provide linguistically and culturally responsive care and the recruitment of bilingual and bicultural API staff. Community-based organizations such as ACRS are striving to provide culturally relevant services for diverse API communities, including immigrant, refugee or American-born.
For resources and information about Mental Health Awareness in Communities of Color Month, visit www.capaa.wa.gov.