Mental Health in the Asian American Community

Mental health is very important, but is viewed differently in different communities.


Many of you may know about how important mental health is. Mental health is your emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Your mental health must be taken care of, just like you take care of your physical health. However, mental health is viewed differently in different communities. In this article, I will be focusing on the Asian American community.

Mental Health in the AAPI Community

Data collected by the National Latino and Asian American Study found that Asian Americans have a 17.3% chance of getting a psychiatric disorder in their lifetime, yet Asian Americans are 3 times less likely to seek mental health services than their white counterparts. The University of Maryland conducted a study on Asian American young adults from eight different Asian-American communities. The study found some reasons for poor mental health in the Asian American community. Some of these reasons were:

  • Parental pressure to succeed in academics
  • Discussing mental health is considered taboo in certain Asian cultures
  • Pressure to live up to the “model minority” stereotype( a stereotype that suggests that certain members of a minority group achieve a higher socioeconomic status than others)
  • Family Obligations
  • Racial Discrimination
  • Struggles with identity

The Stigma Around Mental Health in the Asian American Community

Asian Americans might be less likely to seek out mental health services is because of the stigma in the community. Many people in the Asian American community view those who have serious psychological disorders as “crazy” or “weak”.  This stigma forces many to suffer in silence.  The model minority myth is one thing that exacerbates the stigma. This myth creates the illusion that Asian-Americans are intelligent, industrious, and have overcome racial bias. This places a lot of pressure on some people and can worsen mental health issues. It also means that people are less likely to seek out mental health services.




If you are struggling with your mental health

17 Mental Health Resources for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders