This week on BeREAL, Diana and Ednehsa are joined by Carrie Zhang. This episode is continuing on the theme of Minority Mental Health Month from last week, and Carrie is here to discuss Pan-Asian mental health.
Carrie Zhang is the founder of the Asian Mental Health Project, an initiative that aims to educate and empower Pan-Asian communities in making mental healthcare more accessible. Founded in 2019, the project currently uses social media, multimedia content creation and community events to de-stigmatize topics of mental health, critical social issues and provide tangible resources. Carrie is a graduate from the University of Southern California, with a B.A. in Public Relations and a minor in Music Industry.
Carrie begins the episode by discussing her past and how it led her to seek mental health treatment. She discusses the many stigmas that are present in the Pan-Asian community that made her hesitant to seek treatment at first. She points to the lack of discussion around therapy in the Pan-Asian community, and how there is a prevalent idea that you must push through issues on your own. She also points out other characteristics of therapy that make it even harder for the Pan-Asian community to overcome the highlighted stigmas, such as cost.
Carrie offers a few tips for non-Asian therapists to be more culturally competent when treating the Pan-Asian community. The most important idea she put forward is to strike down the idea of the model minority. The idea of the model minority stereotypes non-white commuities in a way that may not be deemed harmful at first glance, but in reality harms the community in a variety of ways. One of those ways is that often mental health practitioners will assume they know the root of an issue before discussing it with the patient, which could direct attention away from the real issue at hand.
Finally, Carrie discusses the project she has recently started up to build a more culturally competent field of mental health clinicians and therapists, and what she hopes to see from it in the future.
Thank you so much for joining us this week on BeREAL! Stay tuned for an all new episode next Tuesday. In the meantime, if you missed last week’s episode be sure to give it a listen!
For more information on Carrie and her project, visit the links below:
Asian Mental Health Project: https://asianmentalhealthproject.com/
For more information on The BeREAL Podcast and BeWELL Psychotherapy visit the links below.
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