Family Touch

Family Touch

Family Touch was founded in 2001 to address the serious void in social and emotional educational services in the rapidly increasing populations of Asian children, youth, and families in the Greater New Jersey and New York areas. There was a realization of the lack of services to help them to

Family Touch

Family Touch was founded in 2001 to address the serious void in social and emotional educational services in the rapidly increasing populations of Asian children, youth, and families in the Greater New Jersey and New York areas. There was a realization of the lack of services to help them to understand family dynamics and solve the communication problems considering their unique circumstances of immigrant families with cultural differences and language barriers. Our mission is to build a mentally healthy community of Korean American families through providing social and emotional education and counseling services by lowering financial hurdles to accessing these services. We believe that a solid community starts with healthy, empowered individuals and strong families, who, in turn, partner together to build and give back. We work toward our mission in three distinct ways: Lowering barriers to access, Impacting every single family member across generations and teaching sustainable, long-term skills. Family Touch empowers each family member to develop strong interpersonal relationships by providing evidence-based programs such as communication skills, stress management skills and leadership growth and development programs for youth. Also including family programs such as family dynamics training and parenting classes work to build healthy family relationships. Family Touch has provided counseling service in prevention works on expanding our counseling service from prevention-only to now impactful intervention services. With new and complex mental health issues and problems that clients will come to face, Family Touch is ready to serve the needs of the community.

About the Organization:

Family Touch was founded in 2001 to address the serious void in social and emotional educational services in the rapidly increasing populations of Asian children, youth, and families in the Greater New Jersey and New York areas. There was a realization of the lack of services to help them to understand family dynamics and solve the communication problems considering their unique circumstances of immigrant families with cultural differences and language barriers. Our mission is to build a mentally healthy community of Korean American families through providing social and emotional education and counseling services by lowering financial hurdles to accessing these services. We believe that a solid community starts with healthy, empowered individuals and strong families, who, in turn, partner together to build and give back. We work toward our mission in three distinct ways: Lowering barriers to access, Impacting every single family member across generations and teaching sustainable, long-term skills. Family Touch empowers each family member to develop strong interpersonal relationships by providing evidence-based programs such as communication skills, stress management skills and leadership growth and development programs for youth. Also including family programs such as family dynamics training and parenting classes work to build healthy family relationships. Family Touch has provided counseling service in prevention works on expanding our counseling service from prevention-only to now impactful intervention services. With new and complex mental health issues and problems that clients will come to face, Family Touch is ready to serve the needs of the community.

organizational budget

$500,000 - $1 MILLION

existence for

21-25 YEARS

The Issue:

The need and demands for mental health awareness and care has increased the past several years within the Asian American community. According to ADAA, more than 2.9 million Asian Americans experienced mental illness in 2019. Findings from the National Latino and Asian American Study also found that 17.3% of Asian Americans will be diagnosed with a psychiatric condition at some point in their lifetime. More recently, stress transitioning into a post pandemic lifestyle and the rise in anti-Asian hate has taken an added toll on mental wellbeing, increasing their need for mental health support for Asian American. Even though there are alarming signs for mental health care for the Asian American community, according to Mental Health America (MHA), Asian Americans are the least likely racial group in the United States to seek mental health services. Amongst Asian Americans, Korean Americans displayed unfavorable mental health outcomes; such findings based on the nationally representative sample confirmed previous research that used regional data such as the California Health Interview Survey. There are several barriers to Korean Americans seeking help from mental health professionals, including the scarcity of therapists competent in the Korean language and culture, cultural norm of shame in mental illness and lack of awareness of resources. With these strains, Korean Americans may be confronted with distinct challenges that could lead to more disorders and distress. For instance, a study concluded that Korean immigrants’ mental health issues were “complex, chronic, and serious,” and Korean Americans often faced unique stressors without seeking professional help. Research also indicated that extreme behavioral patterns (i.e., hyper-identification and over-acculturation) among Korean Americans might be related to their negative mental health status. Furthermore, a comparative study showed that Korean Americans appraised stressors as more challenging and adopted fewer problem-solving coping strategies than whites and other Asian ethnic groups such as Filipino Americans. When our organization’s proprietary data is compared to the national average, it can be implicitly concluded that the severity of the symptoms is far greater in our area and there is a dire need to battle mental health related issues within the Korean American community.

The Solution:

Throughout the North East area of the U.S, Family Touch is the most distinguished non-profit organization that provides both prevention and intervention counseling services and mental health education programs for the Korean American community. Family Touch offers evidence-based programs across generations from youth to senior citizens customized for the needs of the generation. Every program is geared towards prevention and intervention to build mentally and emotionally healthy individuals, families and communities. Family Touch aims to provide quality services such as parenting classes for single parents, stress management, counseling, and grief support to the Korean-American community. The preventative programs that are engineered and adjusted according to the needs and voices of the target group are offered by trained personnel who do not just provide training and resources, but aim to change lives. While mental illness has been highly neglected within Korean communities due to cultural stigmas and preconceptions, these programs will allow remedy of pre-notions and warning signs of mental health problems and also apply daily life skills for improved personal well being. The annual Walk for Hope is a walkathon and community held in order to encourage mental health awareness. The interventional service of individual/group counseling is facilitated on a need basis by our fully bilingual counselors. Our internal data shows that counseling for topics such as anxiety, depression, and relationships have shown a drastic increase since the start of the pandemic. The sheer increase in numbers displays the unrest and unsettlement within family environments. In order to battle the influx of needs and services from our community, our goal within the next few years is to build a Community Wellness Center to further expand the availability and space for our counseling services. Not just the few programs listed, but also various programs for diverse age groups are offered to encourage healthier and empowered lives.

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