4 min read

May 01, 2021

Charity Feature: Asian Mental Health Collective

Research shows that Asian Americans are amongst the lowest utilizers of mental health services. For many Asians, desire and action to seek emotional...

Research shows that Asian Americans are amongst the lowest utilizers of mental health services. For many Asians, desire and action to seek emotional and psychological support is often impacted by the cultural stigmatization of mental health; lack of connection to mental health professionals with a deep understanding of Asian cultures and histories; and safe spaces to discuss the various aspects of being Asian.

Start a fundraiser today for Asian Mental Health Collective!

Together as Asian Mental Health Collective (AMHC), we aspire to make mental health easily available, approachable, and accessible to Asian communities worldwide. Our mission is to normalize and de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community.

AMHC was founded to house several grassroot initiatives — our subtle asian mental health Facebook group with over 58,000 members, our Asian Mental Health Professionals network, our Asian, Pacific Islander, and South Asian American (APISAA) Therapist Directory (APISAA) Therapist Directory, Asian Canadian Therapist Directory, and our community events initiative WAVES. These volunteer-run initiatives were created due to the global need for increased access to mental health support for Asian communities across the world.

Soon after registering as a non-profit in 2020, AMHC dove into planning our first ever virtual conference, TransformASIAN, which featured Asian scholars, artists, community organizers, mental health professionals, and key figures in the community. The event saw 2500 registrations, 12,000 unique viewers, and a peak of 650 active listeners tuned in across the 8 hour stream. We raised over $7500 — three times more than our fundraising goal. As a group of volunteers, we were absolutely thrilled.

However, our celebration was short-lived. We later discovered that 84-year-old Thai immigrant, Vicha Ratanapakdee, had died after being pushed to the ground in San Francisco. As outrage in the Asian American community grew, more videos of recent violent crimes against Asians began to surface and gain traction in the media. AMHC, alongside our community, was suddenly thrust into the limelight.

Then came the murders in Atlanta. We found ourselves struggling to process our own personal grief, meet the needs of our community, and respond to the outpouring of support from individuals and organizations across the nation. In support groups we hosted, members disclosed that they felt saddened by the loss of life, anxious for the safety of their friends and families, and scared to be Asian. Many had been shocked and surprised by the violent loss of life, but others recognized the long-standing history of racism towards the Asian community in the U.S. Fetishization, dehumanization, and violence against Asian people both in the West and in Asia by Western powers has been a theme in world history for hundreds of years. These experiences are traumatic — research has shown that intergenerational trauma and racial discrimination are strongly correlated with psychological and physical health outcomes, including increased pain, disability and higher all-cause mortality.

With contributions from the community and philanthropic donors, we can make our resources more accessible to Asian folks around the world.

We plan to:

  • revamp our Asian therapist directories so they are easier to navigate and access
  • expand our community support groups led by Asian mental health professionals
  • scale up our community events and conferences so more people have access to supportive communities and education around Asian mental health
  • equip our team with the infrastructure and training needed to successfully sustain the organization’s growth
  • offer scholarships and internships for Asian youths interested in pursuing this field
  • create a mental health fund that will subsidize therapy sessions for our community
  • and more!

Our hope is that through our work and collaborations and with like-minded organizations that we will no longer experience this collective trauma anymore. However, we can’t make this change on our own. We hope that in your support of Asian Mental Health Collective, you will also take the opportunity to learn more about the model minority myth, the history of colonization in Asia, Yellow Fever and Yellow Peril. Together, we can break the cycle of racial and cultural trauma — and we thank you for your support and solidarity.

When you’re ready to start a fundraiser, be sure and check out our custom overlays and alerts. They’re available in the Streamlabs theme library and can be installed with one click:

Overlay themes for Asian Mental Health Collective are available in the theme library.
Make your stream official with matching charity donation alerts.

Start a fundraiser today for Asian Mental Health Collective!

This article was written by Alex San Diego and submitted to the Streamlabs Charity team as part of a charity spotlight series.

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