This campaign is spearheaded by Dr. Jenny Wang @asiansformentalhealth and Dr. Elissa Lee @elissasays, along with Trevor San Antonio (MA, OTR/L), and JoJo Luk (LMSW).
It has become increasingly evident that there is a need for culturally competent care by and for AAPI communities. AAPI are the least likely of any race to seek mental health support, despite the presence of mental health struggles across our community. Within the AAPI community, a significant relationship was found between discrimination and depression and anxiety. And while racism towards our community isn’t new, the pandemic and compounding crises have further illuminated the need for mental health care within the AAPI communities.
One of the biggest barriers is a lack of AAPI providers: 5 percent of the psychologist workforce identified as Asian, and 1 percent were multiracial or from other racial groups (which included Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander), as opposed to 86 percent who identified as white.
Since the pandemic began, we saw an increase in AAPI reaching out for mental health support only to realize that many of the AAPI providers are at capacity. This is a crucial time, as AAPI are breaking stigmas and overcoming taboos regarding mental health, that we provide support for the next generation of AAPI Mental Health professionals in their journey towards clinical practice.
We hope to meet this need by fundraising for the following:
1) AAPI Therapist Directory: Compensating the developers of the Asians for Mental Health Therapist Directory with an honorarium for building this amazing directory. This honorarium is capped at $10,000, which is a 1/3 of the traditional cost of a website build. They insisted on capping the honorarium because they would like the majority of the funds to go towards the scholarship fund, as they are also Asian Americans who care deeply about mental health in our community.
You can see live directory here: www.asiansformentalhealth.com.
2) AAPI Scholarship Fund: Building a scholarship fund for AAPI students or trainees in a mental health related graduate degree program. Your donation will go directly to the scholarship fund to support a future AAPI mental health provider.
Our hope is to shift the field of mental health for our community. This scholarship fund is a step towards a future of more AAPI mental health providers to meet the increasing demands for mental health care in our community. Our vision is to provide safe spaces for our community as we continue to heal and work towards joint liberation.
Will you join us in supporting this vision?
** Please note that Asians for Mental Health is not a nonprofit and will not be able to offer a tax deductible receipt for your donation. This fundraiser will operate through a mutual aid model in order to provide funds to AAPI students and trainees as efficiently as possible. Thank you for your trust and understanding.