Community members promote mental health in Asian communities after Monterey park mass shooting 

The stigma around mental health in the Asian community prevents many, especially seniors, from seeking help.

Jaysha Patel Image
Friday, January 27, 2023
Nonprofits urge mental health resources after mass shooting.
After 11 innocent people died in the Monterey Park shooting, community members are urging seniors in the Asian community to seek help to heal. 

FOUNTAIN VALLEY. Calif. (KABC) -- In the wake of the tragic killing of 11 innocent people in Monterey Park, mental health has been on the forefront of many people's minds.

Asian American communities and nonprofits are starting and encouraging conversation about mental health.

Mental-health professionals and nonprofit organizations joined community leaders in Orange County's Little Saigon to urge the public, family members and friends of Asian Americans to let them know there's help and there are resources to help them heal after the mass shooting.

"There are things our policy makers can do. There are things that our community can do. There are things us as family members can do. I think of those that are isolated. What could've prevented this was connection," said Tammy Tran, senior manager at Southern California Edison.

The stigma around mental health in the Asian community prevents many, especially seniors, from seeking help.

Paul Hoang, founder and executive director of Moving Forward Psychological Institute, says many elderly Asians who had to flee their country because of war experience trauma that is often suppressed when they come to America because they have to adapt to another culture.

So how do we start the conversation with seniors in the Asian community?

Hoang says start by telling them what you observe in their behavior and offer to seek help with them so they're not alone.

"It's important to focus on the impact. So we say, 'I observed this, for example, I've observed that you cry a lot. I observed that when the holiday comes away, and the sky is gray, you are more sad than usual. Is that accurate?' So, focus on the behavior. Focus on what's observable," Hoang said.

There are free and accessible resources available, whether it's one-on-one therapy or peer groups.

Norooz Clinic in Santa Ana offers these services on a sliding scale or for no cost through scholarship therapy programs.

You can also go to AAPI Equity Alliance's website for resources in multiple languages.

"In our Asian American community, discussing mental health can still be a really taboo topic. Many of us may not feel comfortable speaking about mental health and this may prevent us from seeking the help that we need," said Nina Huynh, executive director of Norooz Clinic.

You can also dial 988 for the suicide and crisis lifeline.

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