A bill to reduce mental health stigma in the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has been introduced in the House of Representatives. Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced the Stop Mental Health Stigma in Our Communities Act on the week coinciding with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month. The bill
Mental health issues among AAPIs vary across subgroups, but research has shown that Southeast Asian refugees, including Cambodian and Vietnamese Americans who fled war-torn countries, consistently experience high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder. Suicide and depression are also mental health concerns in the AAPI community. Compared to whites, Asian-American college students experience a higher rate of suicidal thoughts, according to the Asian American Psychological Association.
The mental health bill Chu introduced would provide interventions and treatments that are culturally and linguistically sensitive to AAPI subgroups, she said. “Through messaging and outreach that reflect the unique cultural and language needs of our community, we can save lives and get individuals the help they deserve,” Chu said in a statement.
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