Asian american issues
“Don’t ever think that just because you do things differently, you’re wrong.”
For many Asian Americans Pacific Islanders, understanding what it means to “be yourself,” is complicated by constantly having to juggle multiple different worlds. Asian Americans are often raised with a plethora of mixed messages. American society deems Asians as the “model minority,” expecting us to be academic leaders in our classes, yet won’t give us a seat at the table in visible places of leadership such as politics, media, or the C-suite. Many Asian parents encourage assimilation as a means of financial and career success, but disapprove of sons or daughters when their lifestyles don’t match the values of their cultural heritages. The US loves incorporating Asian food and style into American branded products in the form of fusion food or Asian inspired art and clothing, yet Asian American people are perpetually cast in the light of “foreign” or “other.” As a result, Asian Americans often wear multiple faces, switching between one persona at home, another at work, and yet another with friends–even then tailoring themselves to the racial and ethnic makeup of these friends.
When it comes to romantic relationships, this dynamic is even more complex. Whether in an Asian or cross-racial relationship, difference will always be an issue because of the diversity of Asian American experiences and identities. Add to this the fetishization of Asian women and the emasculation of Asian men in popular American culture–being seen and accepted for who you truly
As a second generation Korean-Chinese American who has faced my own struggles with prejudice, difference, and identity, I am passionate about working with Asian-Americans who are seeking to understand their identities as Asian-Americans and how their unique experiences and perspectives impact their relationships with themselves and others. I am a strong advocate for increasing mental health support and decreasing stigma around therapy for Asian Americans. Relative to other U.S. populations, Asian Americans are 3 times less likely to seek mental health services. And yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- 18.9 percent of Asian American high school students report considering suicide, versus 15.5 percent of whites.
- 10.8 percent of Asian American high school students report having attempted suicide, versus 6.2 percent of whites.
- Suicide death rates are 30 percent higher for
15-24 year-oldAsian American females than they are for white females
- Suicide death rates for
65+ year-oldAsian American females are higher than they are for white females
Many of us are suffering silently and alone. This should not be when there is loving help available.
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Stephanie Lee, LCSW | 220 Bush St. | San Francisco, CA 94110 | Google Map