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Experts warn of mental health crisis in AAPI community

Speaking openly about mental health can often be considered taboo in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

AUSTIN, Texas — As hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased, more people in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have reported anxiety and depression symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But speaking openly about mental health can often be considered taboo in the AAPI community. And for many, mental health resources are not an option.

Now experts are calling it a mental health crisis.

"Stigma is definitely a really big issue in our community. Some of that has to do with cultural values and privacy and mental illness, bringing sort of shame to oneself and one's family. But another big contributor is the model minority stereotype. This stereotype portrays Asian Americans as effortlessly successful," said Dr. Geoffrey Liu, a psychiatrist with McLean Hospital. "We can internalize that stereotype and start to believe that we need to be perfect."

Asking for help can be overwhelming. Data shows that 41% of Asian Americans are currently experiencing anxiety or depression, and 62% of those diagnosed still need help accessing services.

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