MetroPlusHealth, New York City’s affordable, quality health plan, conducted its 2022 AAPI Survey of Women’s Mental Health in New York in April and found that Asian women in New York feel they have far fewer support and mental health resources than the average woman in the city. The gap between high demand and low availability of linguistically and culturally appropriate mental health service providers is a significant gap in access to treatment.
68% of AAPI women who took part in the NYC survey agree that talking to a mental health professional would have a positive impact on their lives. Yet only 27% of Asian women strongly agree that they feel supported by family and friends, compared to 35% of the general female population in New York City. 69% of Asian women said they knew they could talk to a family doctor about their mental health, compared to 80% of women in the general New York population.
Additionally, only 35% of Asian women know of a local community organization providing mental health services in their preferred language, compared to 49% of women in the general New York population.
There are also generational differences at play among AAPI women. Although Gen Z women surveyed report feeling more stressed than baby boomers (40% vs. 9% strongly agree), they are also more likely to encourage friends and family members to seek professional mental health services (32% vs. 13%), prefer to speak with a professional who speaks their language (33% vs. 3%), and feel that they do not prioritize their mental health enough (22% vs. 3% ).
Lack of understanding of mental illness and the defilement associated with mental health issues can lead to denial or neglect of mental health issues.
“The biggest barrier to seeking help is often what you’ve absorbed – you feel stigmatized, ashamed, and part of the problem is that you may not feel as comfortable talking about life issues. mental health than physical issues,” said Dr. Sanjiv Shah, MetroPlusHealth’s chief medical officer. “We need to do a much better job of removing the stigma around mental illness.”
According to a recent analysis by the Mayor of New York’s Office of Immigration Affairs (MOIA), AAPI immigrants are “one of the most racially diverse groups in the city, representing more than 30 different ethnic groups and speaking more than 50 languages” with a high poverty rate. rate. The analysis also indicates that “there has been an increase in incidents of discrimination and violence against AAPI individuals, rooted in the long history of racism, stereotyping and scapegoating of immigrant communities in the United States” .
Culturally sensitive and fluent in over 40 languages, MetroPlusHealth’s staff is as diverse as the big city we serve. In August, MetroPlusHealth opened a new flagship office in Flushing, Queens, and is partnering with local community organizations. The Flushing office reflects MetroPlusHealth’s commitment to being more than a health plan for its members and communities.
“In traditional Asian culture, mental health is rarely talked about,” said Dr. Eric Wei, senior vice president and chief quality officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “But each generation sees more and more benefit in seeking mental health services and tries to convince their parents, aunts and uncles and grandparents that everything is fine.
To raise awareness of mental health support in the AAPI community, MetroPlusHealth is hosting its first-ever campaign for Mental Health Talk on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. On May 25, MetroPlusHealth will also host a virtual town hall focused on AAPI mental health.
Members of the public can register to attend the virtual town hall at https://aapimentalhealth.eventbrite.com.
To learn more about MetroPlusHealth’s behavioral health programs, visit https://www.metroplus.org/member/behavioral-health.