The Mental Health Crisis Among Asian Americans Introduction Asian Americans have been immigrating to the United States for generations in hopes of a better life, however, there is an expectation placed on them to adapt and assimilate to the Western culture. As immigrants, Asian Americans face various struggles emotionally, socially, physically and financially, while adapting to their new lifestyle in America. Asian Americans tend to have strong traditions and belief systems, in some aspects, completely opposite of those in the Western culture.
The dissimilarities between cultures can have major impacts and influences when it comes to the health care practices in this country. It is essential to address the mental health crisis within Asian American communities because it is a spectrum of health care that can be neglected or opposed due to cultural influences. America is a uniquely diverse country, people from wide-ranging cultural backgrounds can be found throughout the nation. Due to the diversity present in this country, it must recognized that each ethnic group may seek medical attention in different ways, ways that they may be accustomed to or feel more comfortable with.
Asian Americans are an ethnic group that may choose not to seek medical care as willingly as other groups due to cultural differences, language barriers, economic barriers, and perhaps a possible lack of knowledge regarding obtainable services. Mental illness is stigmatized in many ethnic groups and in order to successfully address this issue, it is crucial for medical professionals to understand different cultural beliefs that may influence individuals and hinder their efforts in seeking medical care.
By identifying with the various cultural practices within the community will create a pathway for Asian Americans to feel more comfortable in acknowledging their symptoms and seeking appropriate medical care. Methodology In order to entirely understand the Asian American community and the complexities of traditions within it, I needed to gather research using various types of methods. Census Data According to the US Bureau of the Census in 2000, Asian Americans account for the fastest growing racial group in the United States.
Out of a population of 281. 4 million, 11. 9 million people consider themselves Asian. The Asian American population tends to be looked at as a homogenous ethnic group, but in fact, it is quite heterogeneous; there are at least 43 separate ethnic groups within the Asian group and contains approximately 100 languages. Although the Asian American communities do have similarities with one another, many differences can be seen in their individual cultures, traditions, language, etc.
Historically, Asians can be found immigrating to American for several generations but the increasing number of immigrants contributes to the large diversity accounted for. This paper will analyze the mental health crisis of Asian Americans and the factors that hinder this group from seeking appropriate care. Practical Barriers Several practical barriers can be found interrupting the utilization of mental health programs that can be used to benefit the well being of all individuals.
It is essential to identify the practical barriers impeding mental health care for Asian Americans and elucidate them in order to increase the utilization of such programs. The first practical barrier that needs to be analyzed is the limited availability for Asian Americans: In 2008 Manderscheid and Henderson found there were approximately 70 Asian American providers available per 100,000 Asian Americans in the U. S. with a ratio of over twice that for whites. (Cite Speller article) The 2008 data shows the limited availability in the health care system for Asian Americans is partly due to the fact that the ratio of Asian physicians to Asian patients has such a wide gap. It is crucial to increase the limited availability of bilingual providers, especially among the immigrant populations, since language barriers is one of the leading challenges in health care at this time.