Time after time, Joy Luangphaxay would see Asian-American seniors come to the nonprofit Hamilton-Madison House accompanied by their adult children and complain to therapists about their difficulty falling sleeping. That they’d had many a restless night.
But Luangphaxay, of the social services group based in New York City, said there would be more meaning behind their words. Often, she told HuffPost, the seniors were going through anxiety and depression but just weren’t sure how to vocalize it.
Mental health is a touchy subject in the Asian-American community, especially for the senior population. But experts say it’s time to start talking about it. Asian-American senior women have the highest suicide rate of any racial group, according to the American Psychological Association. Yet Asian Americans are almost three times less likely than their white counterparts to seek mental health services.
The subject has remained out of the spotlight in part because Asian-Americans hesitate to speak about their mental health issues from fear of being shameful, experts say. They’re calling for more culturally understanding mental health strategies available in more languages to help the community, as well as a better understanding within the community that mental health problems are normal.
Read more on HuffingtonPost.com.