Asian Mental Health Collective
National, focused on mental health access and awareness, serving the pan-AAPI community
About the Organization:
AMHC works to increase awareness of and access to mental health resources for Asian communities, equip Asian clinicians with the support needed to best serve the community, and create open dialogue and space for connection around our shared mental health journeys as Asians.
$100,000 - $500,000
By 2055, Asian Americans are expected to reflect the largest growing racial/ethnic immigrant population within the United States (Pew Research Center, 2021). Despite this growing trend, AAPIs have some of the worst mental health outcomes of any racial group within the United States. Compared to other racial/ethnic groups, Asian Americans are also least likely to seek treatment or services for mental health, three times less likely than their white counterparts. AAPIs are also more likely to underreport symptoms of mental illness and perceive greater stigma towards mental health disorders.
At the same time, Asian Americans age 15-24 are the only racial group with suicide as their leading cause of death. Misconceptions, such as the Model Minority Myth that promote ideas that Asian Americans do not experience health, social, or educational barriers, further perpetuates a disconnect in understanding and addressing Asian American mental health. As a result, AAPI communities face a mental health crisis that is not adequately being addressed by existing mental health systems.
Despite this clear need, accessing mental healthcare is more difficult than ever. According to the APA in 2022, 60% of therapists in the US indicated they no longer have openings to take new patients. Additionally, cost is a major barrier to accessing mental health treatment – even with health insurance, many individuals report difficulty in finding a therapist that accepts a particular insurance, while paying out of pocket or even for co-pays for mental health appointments can be cost-prohibitive.
As a national organization, AMHC tackles the mental health crisis facing Asian communities by building supportive community spaces, increasing access to treatment, and supporting practitioners to better serve Asian clients. Through our quarterly online support groups, our community meetups, annual TransformAsian conference, and our moderated 61,000 member Facebook group (Subtle Asian Mental Health) we are building safe spaces for young Asians to share, support one another and normalize discussions of mental health.
Secondly, AMHC provides access to quality and culturally relevant mental health treatment for the Asian diaspora. AMHC places an emphasis on supporting and connecting our community with Asian therapists as we believe shared cultural context can be crucial for building trust and understanding in a therapeutic space. AMHC built and maintains the largest directory of Asian American therapists, allowing those in need to search over 2000 providers based on location, ethnicity, language, modality etc. Our Lotus Therapy Fund connects recipients with an Asian therapist and pays in full for a minimum of 8 sessions. We bring together clinicians working to heal and treat our community to learn from one another, connecting and amplifying the next generation of Asian therapists through mentorships, free trainings and workshops with continuing education credits. AMHC also uses our large social media following to amplify discussions of mental health from a uniquely Asian lens, dispelling the myth that therapy is inaccessible and un-Asian.
Through this work, AMHC recognizes a growing awareness, particularly from younger generations within Asian diaspora communities, that mental health access is desperately needed and important.
The AMHC community is therefore equipped to seek culturally competent treatment and find support from Asian peers. Because robust social support aids recovery from serious mental illness, our program can also increase the efficacy of clinical treatment.