Celebrating Asian American Changemakers Who Advocate for Mental Health Awareness and Accessibility
“You can’t juggle it all 100 percent. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to do everything.”― Connie Chung
May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, which celebrates the histories of Americans hailing from across the Asian continent and from the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. This month, let’s celebrate Asian American culture together– a history filled with incredible stories of resilience, persistence and determination. According to Stanford Medicine, Asian Americans are among the least likely to seek mental health care. In an effort to help reduce mental health stigma within the Asian American community, we are honored to highlight these mental health changemakers who encourage support for people in need.
Asian Mental Health Project provides educational resources and community care initiatives that help make mental health care more accessible and approachable for the Pan-Asian community. The nonprofit organization creates multimedia resources, hosts community events and provides mental health assistance grants.
“I want to create a space and offer resources that would allow people to be able to talk about their mental health at whatever stage they’re in and feel empowered to seek help when they need it.” – Carrie Zhang, Founder of Asian Mental Healthcare Project.
Thank you Carrie for helping other Asian Americans overcome cultural and systematic barriers to mental health through your organization.
Constance Wu is a beloved Asian American actress that has begun impactful conversations around mental health, crisis intervention, representation, and inclusion. She sets an example for everyone to lead with curiosity and empathy to foster belonging and intentional inclusion. In her 2022 memoir, Making a Scene, Constance opens up about her personal journey of healing and self-acceptance.
“We should engage in curiosity and empathy before we go to judgment…” – Constance Wu
Constance– you are truly a changemaker for the Asian American community to normalize conversations around mental health and acceptance.
Dr. Jenny Tzu-Mei Wang is a Taiwanese-American psychologist at the forefront of advocating for accessible mental health care. She is a mental health activist who works from a social justice and trauma-informed framework. Dr. Wang founded a community on Instagram called Asians for Mental Health that promotes de-stigmatization of mental health for the Asian community and connects followers to Asian mental health professionals.
“If we can normalize that everybody experiences mental health in a tangible way, then I hope it helps normalize that mental health is something we can talk about and seek support for.” –Dr. Jenny Tzu-Mei Wang
Thank you Dr. Wang for helping to make mental health treatment accessible within the Asian American community.
Tanmay Mehta is one of Crisis Text Line’s English/Spanish bilingual volunteer Crisis Counselors. He is currently a research assistant at the Tisch MS Research Center of New York. He is also the Founder of Likhana, an organization dedicated to empowering underrepresented minority high school students by connecting them with college graduates who can provide personalized guidance as they navigate the college application process. He is one of our changemakers because he aspires to continue this path of synergizing the biological and mental facets of health. When he is not working as a researcher, he spends his time helping as many patients as possible in the Emergency Room at Stamford Hospital and supporting Crisis Text Line texters during their time of need.
“It has been a privilege and an honor to be a part of this organization as I have seen the tangible impact that it has had on the lives of its texters.” –Tanmay Mehta
We have the opportunity to hear from Tanmay about how volunteering has impacted his life. Check out his video here.
You are one of our heroes Tanmay– thank you for helping to save and change lives.
Looking to make a difference? Interested in supporting people in need? Join Tanmay and the rest of Crisis Text Line’s community of volunteer Crisis Counselors today!