Covid-19 has exposed Asian American mental health crisis: AARP

By The SATimes News Service

New York: Even as Covid rages on, another pandemic endangering the lives and dignity of Asian Americans including Indian Americans across generations is taking place — a mental health crisis.

Recently, AARP collaborated with Asian American experts and community members to create a video featuring stories of corona survivors facing trauma, and older adults facing anxiety in the midst of high unemployment rates. These stories help us better understand the health disparity and the shortcomings of past mental health initiatives for Asian Americans.

Here is what David Lat, Covid-19 survivor and founder, Above The Law, says: “When they told me a few days into my hospitalization that I needed to be put on a ventilator, I was really terrified. I was worried whether I would ever see my family again.”

Dr. Usha Tummala-Narra, Professor at Boston College, comments: “I’m very concerned about the mental well-being and health of older Asian Americans right now, as they’re coping with multiple sources of stress, including the pandemic, social isolation, and unemployment.”

Key statistics to note:

*      Over ⅓ of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression, according to census data gathered in 2020 on Measuring Household Experiences during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

*      Only 4% of mental healthcare workers in the US identify as Asian, as per date from the American Psychological Association

*     Communities of color are less likely to seek and receive treatment for mental health. Asian Americans are the least likely, according to 2015 data compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

For many Asian Americans, treatment for mental health is unaffordable, especially for those who don’t have health insurance. An AARP study found that, nationwide, 20% of Asian American adults aged 50 to 64 do not have health insurance. There is an urgent need to uncover pathways and solutions to address the mental health needs of Asian Americans and ultimately, create a more equitable world after Covid.

To view the full video, please visit facebook.com/aarpaapi and for more resources or articles, please visit aarp.org/aapi/

Image courtesy of . (Photo courtesy AARP)

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