The exact impact of Covid-19 on Filipino Americans is impossible to know because death data on Asian American subgroups is lumped into a single category. But exclusive data from a recent survey shows that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on Filipino American mental health: More than half of respondents reported anxiety, depression and worrying, among a number of symptoms. Of those respondents, 85 percent attributed them to the pandemic.
The heightened concern many feel about elderly family members with underlying health conditions potentially becoming infected has been a source of worry for Filipino Americans — 34 percent of whom live in multigenerational households, according to Pew Research Center — throughout the pandemic. What made it even more worrying for Filipino Americans is that many live in multigenerational households, said Christine Catipon, a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles.
Those figures are higher than the 46 percent of Asian Americans who reported anxiety during the pandemic, 15 percent of whom had depressive symptoms, according to a report from the coalition Stop AAPI Hate. Researchers also found a stronger link between those symptoms and experiences and anti-Asian racism, compared to the effects of other general Covid-related stressors, Charles Liu, assistant professor of psychology at Wheaton College and researcher for the report, said in an email.
Mental health professionals serving Filipino American clients who spoke with NBC Asian America affirmed survey findings. They said reasons for the reported symptoms ranged from loss of employment to finances. But for a community that places high value on socialization, the loss of social support due to physical distancing guidelines was a significant stressor.
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