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24Feb/110

Asian American Teenage Girls Have Highest Rates of Depression; NAMI Releases Report

Asian American Teenage Girls Have Highest Rates of Depression; NAMI Releases Report











Arlington, VA (PRWEB) February 16, 2011

Asian American teenage girls have the highest rate of depressive symptoms of any racial, ethnic or gender group according to a report released today by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

The report is based on a “listening session” with mental health experts from different Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities held in Los Angeles in November 2010.

Key issues in the report include barriers to mental health services and negative perceptions of mental health problems particular to AAPI communities.

The report highlights statistics from the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) and National Asian Women’s Health Organization (NAWHO) posing concern.


    Asian American girls have the highest rates of depressive symptoms of any racial/ethnic or gender group;
    Young Asian American women ages 15 to 24 die from suicide at a higher rate than other racial/ethnic groups;
    Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among Asian Americans overall, compared to the ninth leading cause of death for white Americans;
    Older Asian American women have the highest suicide rate of all women over 65; and
    Among Southeast Asians, 71 percent meet criteria for major affective disorders such as depression—with 81 percent among Cambodians and 85 percent among Hmong.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders represent a rich diversity of languages and cultures” said NAMI Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick. “They include traditions from China, India, Vietnam, Korea and the Philippines to name only a few. Mental health care must recognize cultural differences as well as common concerns inside our broader national community.”

Recommendations include:

    A national strategy of outreach and engagement using cultural messages, ambassadors and social media;
    A linguistically and culturally responsive mental health workforce, including recruitment of bilingual and bicultural members of the AAPI community; and.
    Recognition of cultural influences such as tight-knit family connections and individual and family desires to avoid stigma and shame from seeking treatment.

NAMI’s Multicultural Action Center convened the listening session. Participants included:

    Asian American Studies Program; California State University
    Asian Health Coalition
    Center for Education Empowerment
    Charles B Wang Community Health Center
    Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
    Chinese American Mental Health Outreach Program (NAMI New Jersey)
    Lehigh University
    NAMI Orange County
    NAMI San Diego
    NAMI San Francisco
    Pacific Clinics
    Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services
    Rams Inc.
    U.C.-Davis School of Medicine
    Rethink BPD
    San Mateo County Health Department
    Union of Pan-Asian Communities and
    Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health

About NAMI

NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1,100 state and local affiliates engaged in research, education, support and advocacy.

http://www.nami.org/AAPI/report

http://twitter.com/namicommunicate

http://www.facebook.com/officialNAMI

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