Mental health toll of being a ‘model minority’ in 2020

Concepcion explained: “If they see that it’s not being discussed in their communities, and then it reflects on anything that they see in the mainstream media about which communities are affected, then they raise their voice Feel disappointed about. Despite noticing that there are disparities within their community, they do not want to make waves.

For many Asian Americans, asking for help, given how difficult the circumstances of this year have been for them, can feel like a mentally disturbed barrier due to the pressures and expectations that the model minority myth has set, DJ Ida, Said the American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association, executive director of the non-official Asian Asian.

The model minority myth has created external problems that have made aid more difficult. Experts say Asian Americans need look no further than their significant losses throughout the year compared to the insufficient financial support they receive during the epidemic.

For example, in New York City, the rate of Asian Americans at the start of the epidemic in February was 3.4 percent. By May, the rate had risen to 25.6 percent, the biggest jump among all major racial groups, a study released by the non-profit Asian American Federation showed.

A member of the New York Legislative Assembly, Yuh-line Nieu, whose district includes Chinatown, noted that before the epidemic, Asian Americans were already struggling, as the group had the highest poverty rate in the city compared to other groups was. Roughly 1 in 4 seniors were living in poverty. However, a 13-year analysis of the city’s government grants released in 2015 by the Asian American Federation showed that Asian American community organizations received just over 1 percent of total spending.

Since then, the ethnic enclave has turned into a financial conflict, hanging in the balance of community survival, partly due to the racism that pervaded the virus.

“Now during the epidemic, even when my Asian American colleagues and I have consistently emphasized the need to help Asian American small businesses that were previously financially hit – not just by viruses, but xenophobia and racism From – we got no help and we saw the systemic racism that allowed for continued oversight, ”said Nieu.

Xu Han, deputy director of the Asian American Federation, echoed Niu’s claims that his organization has seen many in community resorts to implement development programs to find employment, whether they are additional training or connections to employers who Can use their skills. But because there is a high rate of limited English proficiency at 50 percent, these programs “do not really exist to serve our community.”

“There hasn’t been enough attention to what it means to be suddenly unemployed on a large scale in our community, whether it’s due to closure or to close our own businesses,” Han said. “Since January, we have been in constant dialogue with the city about how to effectively support Asian small businesses, many of which were struggling even before the epidemic, and while we are expecting If these resources are forthcoming, the response has been slow and inadequate.… A lot more needs to be done to ensure that we help recover our weak workforce. “

Research also showed that Asian American businesses were affected in the past and there was a deep decline in revenue, but they were less likely to receive relief assistance.

According to a study by UCLA, California has the most populous state of Asian Americans, except for the country, with 83 percent of the Asian American labor force with high school degrees or low recorded unemployment insurance claims. But many did not need his help. Research also showed that Asian American businesses were affected in the past and there was a deep decline in revenue, but they were less likely to receive relief assistance.

“This is followed by a wave of displaced and jobless workers,” said Paul Ong, a research professor at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. “Some received unemployment insurance benefits, but many did not.”

Ong said the model minority myth has “blinded many public officials to how much the epidemic has hurt Asian American workers and businesses,” making it so that relief efforts cannot reach these employees and firms.

Ida said that this invisibility is linked to the beliefs of many people in the community who associate identity with success and failure. He said that reaching out for help could be interpreted as “transmitting his dirty laundry,” which then reflected on the family. The fact that there was such an increase in Asian Americans filing for unemployment had the situation become potentially so severe, many had no other option, Ida said.

Concepcion stated that some Asian Americans may have to resort to immoral tactics, like religion or the church, for help, for example, to seek help with cultural resistance due to decreased governmental resistance. Niou said she sees some dangerous aspects of the community that make it through the epidemic.

“We know the numbers and see poverty, yet very few people want help and services, still. I have been talking to small businesses and residents around my community, and many times I hear stories only after much scrutiny under any circumstances. “I have seen people turning to loan sharks and hunter lenders. I have seen people move into smaller and smaller living conditions. I have seen people ride casino buses for a hot evening because they have no heat. “

Hate incidents can add another layer of shame

Even in contexts where racism is high, the model minority myths Asian Americans, as well. Reporting forum Stop AAPI Het collected 2,583 reports of anti-Asian incidents during the epidemic over a period of about five months.

However, when members of the House of Representatives debated a resolution that would condemn such anti-Asian racism, some Republicans opposed the measure, along with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, using It has been criticized for potentially harming Asian Americans. The “China Virus” makes rhetoric itself, calling the law “ridiculous”.

“I’ll promise you this: There is no kitchen in America that thinks this is a priority,” McCarthy said.

Although the resolution passed, 164 Republicans voted against it.

“Due to lack of awareness of the issues, some think, ‘But what is the problem?’ You guys are doing everything right, ”Ida said. “So they don’t take it seriously, because they don’t understand that this model minority myth works against us.”

Ida said the incidents of hate are particularly damaging, as they potentially add another layer of shame to how Asian Americans feel.

“The thing that really makes hate crimes really dangerous – it’s not that you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is being treated as the wrong person by you all the time. … You can’t escape, “she said.” It’s a shame that people whose children have descended to be seen as immigrants to Japanese Americans, it’s a shame that we bear That we should not bear. “

Ida said that when attacks are hated and similarly disturbing issues arise, Asian Americans feel pressured to ignore or ignore the problem in order to avoid burdening or harassing other family members. Maybe, given what they had to do to make it in America? .

“Part of it is shame. But from a psychological point of view, sometimes we don’t want to talk about the problems, and I see it in young people who were immigrants or children of immigrants, their parents worked so hard for them. He said that he does not want to burden his parents. “Because it’s a feeling of gratitude and it’s very, very powerful.”

Need for more representation in mental health

Han and said other general conflicts such as grief and social isolation can feel uniquely painful for people in the Asian American community. There is limited knowledge about mental health in the predominantly immigrant community, particularly due to the stigma associated with seeking help.

Han said partner organizations have voiced a significant need for mental health care for complex health challenges in the meantime.

“We are hearing about many people who are struggling because of grief because they have lost a loved one, stress because they have lost their jobs, anxiety caused by Asian isolation or because of social isolation Depression – especially our seniors, many of whom have had no contact with the outside world since March, “she said.” While culturally competent mental health care is in great need during this time, people need resources There is very little outreach being done in the language for the limited ability to connect to and actually provide those services. “

Concepcion said more attention should be focused on creating representation in mental health circles and creating Asian American-specific treatment spaces, where people can feel comfortable talking about their needs.

“It helps to see people who look like them, share some other stories that really resonate with them that are reflected by their experiences,” she said.

Ida echoed Concepcion’s view, noting that because Asian cultures have so much emphasis on prioritizing community, there can be an intuitive assumption that self-care is selfish. And especially during times of need, it is important for people to dislike that union.

“An epidemic is really like being in a pressure cooker; it just gets heavier and heavier and heavier,” she said. “So we have more need to interact to raise awareness and show, ‘I’m not alone. I don’t need to do this myself. I’m not selfish.” This is one of the things that we were training people for while doing community training. We are so trained to make sacrifices for the family, especially Asian women, that we feel selfish. Really, really good daughter, wife, sister, whatever, take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. “

He concluded: “It is not selfish. It makes sense. “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *