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Asian Mental Health Project
Asian Mental Health Project
Asian Mental Health Project
Asian Mental Health Project (AMHP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that cultivates community care in hopes of making mental health easier to approach for the Pan-Asian community. Founded in 2019 by Carrie Zhang, Asian Mental Health Project started as a multimedia research initiative that aimed to identify intersections between culture and mental health. Today, AMHP’s mission is carried out through three key pillars: community events, multimedia resources, and mental health financial assistance programs. AMHP strives to create inclusive, culturally specific and ever-growing resources that reflect and serve the Pan-Asian community. Since its inception, AMHP has hosted over 150 free community events (virtual and in-person), matched 250 individuals with therapist search services, granted over 30 individuals with mental health assistance grants, and expanded its free wellness groups for community healing to 7 unique weekly / biweekly affinity groups. Through community events, multimedia content, and mental health assistance, AMHP seeks to connect our communities with culturally affirming resources so that they feel empowered to seek mental health services. In recognizing the stigma prevalent in Pan-Asian communities, AMHP is committed to create safe spaces virtually and in-person to invite people of all ages to have conversations about mental health, bringing forth stories and experiences that may not have safe containers to take form in their daily lives. Together, AMHP is committed to destigmatize mental health and move individuals toward healthy, thriving lives through diverse community care initiatives that increase their accessibility to peer and professional support.
About the Organization:
$100,000 - $500,000
In Southern California and across much of America, the APIDA communities face unique cultural challenges when it comes to seeking mental health resources and services. First, these resources and services must be culturally appropriate and linguistically compatible. Additionally, some APIDA cultures see mental health challenges as a choice or sign of weakness; therefore, this discourages publicly discussing mental health or seeking help. Mental health stigma affects all ethnicities, cultures, and nationalities, but the APIDA communities may be more impacted than most. Many APIDA individuals are more inclined to share physical discomforts long before revealing deeper emotional symptoms. Increasing acceptance, dignity, inclusion, and equity for individuals with mental health challenges in the APIDA communities requires safe spaces for individuals to connect, share, process, and heal while holding space for each other to have brave and vulnerable conversations. Destigmatizing mental health is a collective effort that requires a multifaceted approach at the community level. Since 2020, the pandemic and anti-Asian rhetoric and incidents have revealed the urgent need across the nation to address the disproportionate mental health impacts experienced within the APIDA communities. According to Gilbert Gee, PhD , professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, these types of events reinforce trauma and fear within the American and Pacific Islander communities and do have profound effects on mental and physical health. Yet, mental health needs continue to go unmet because mental health care and resources are not readily available, approachable, or accessible for most. To overcome these cultural and system barriers to mental health, it is critical to shift the mental health conversation to raising awareness, inviting dialogue, and empowering help-seeking behavior.
“To empower is to make accessible. The core of empowering Pan-Asian communities to seek mental health care is to make resources abundant wherever you are. We strive to create resources that assist people in our community, at any stage of life, have agency over their mental health journeys and supportive, informed systems to uplift them.” - Carrie Zhang, Founder Through its multifaceted approach to educate and empower the Pan-Asian community, AMHP strives to create community events, multimedia content, and mental health assistance grants for folks to feel seen, heard, empowered, and united as they become better positioned to take care of their mental health. Through sharing their lived experiences and joining in community to talk about mental health, they are empowered to explore mental health resources at a pace that honors their needs and aligns with their personal mental health journey while also becoming agents of change in their own communities. Community Events Free Wellness Groups for Community Healing AMHP has ongoing virtual programming that fosters community dialogue. Mondays Bi-Weekly: Queer Asian Social Club Tuesdays Bi-Weekly: Proud Asian Men; Brave Conversation Series; Asian Adoptee Empowerment Circle; Asian Women and Femmes Peer Wellness Group Wednesdays Weekly: Stay in, Check in (SICI) Thursdays Bi-Weekly: The Strong Ones: A Wellness Circle for Caregivers & Community Leaders These free wellness groups are led by AMHP volunteers and guest facilitators with diverse lived and professional experiences. The SICI series has been running consistently since March 2020. In-Person Events AMHP’s events in the Greater Los Angeles Area expand on the virtual wellness groups that have allowed APIDA individuals to unite in community as they explore mental health resources. All in-person events engage local community based organizations to collectively empower our communities to care for their mental health. Multimedia Content AMHP creates multimedia content centered on mental health to provide resources in an engaging and approachable manner. Mental Health Assistance Grants In 2022, AMHP launched its pilot mental health assistance grants to support individuals in their mental health and wellness journey. These $500 grants aim to empower individuals to take tangible and individualized actions for their mental health.