Statistics Blur Important Differences Between Asian Cultures – See Us as Individuals
My name is Amanda Young and I am a Crisis Intervention Specialist at Lines for Life. I identify as an Asian American lesbian, and I have been struggling with depression and anxiety since I was about 12, which really pushed me into this field of work. I want to support others.
When people think about communities of color, they don’t generally think of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Right now, there’s additional prejudice and violence toward Asian people around the Coronavirus. I talk with people on the helpline who are afraid to leave their homes alone because they don’t know what might happen.
Asian Americans receive mental health services at the lowest rate of any racial/ethnic group – despite 37% of Asian American adults experiencing poor mental health in a 30-day period.
To me, racial equity is seeing everybody for who they are individually. Just because someone is Chinese, and I’m Chinese, doesn’t mean that we are having the same experiences. You have to be able to identify that and be open to changing your assumptions. It’s really important, especially in this community, to support everybody individually.
Korean and Japanese Americans show significantly higher suicide rates than other Asian American and Pacific Islanders – but important differences in culture are often blurred because data on Asian American and Pacific Islanders are combined as one racial group.
Lines for Life has a Racial Equity Support Line, answered by people of color with our own individual experiences, for anyone struggling with the emotional impacts of racism. I think that ultimately, we can better understand and provide support for the struggles that we go through in our communities. We feel more comfortable when we talk to someone who has similar experiences.