Asian & Pacific Islander Americans individuals frequently face complex mental health issues that require holistic medical and psychological care. Moving beyond demographic and cultural factors that may be a barrier to mental health care utilization for APIA individuals, the Asian Family Institute, integrated care is a remarkable step toward addressing systematic issues, by providing culturally responsive and linguistically sensitive services.
Deeply embedded in Chinese and many APIA cultures, individuals who are facing mental health issues are often encouraged to try their best to endure 忍 (ren); they may be discouraged to seek psychological services in order to try to save face, preserve their reputation, and not humiliate their family. With cultural pressures to suppress negative mood states, and the stigma against sharing experiences of psychological symptoms, individuals may feel reluctant to express concerns regarding mental health issues. Research on illness beliefs of depressed Chinese American patients reveals that they are more inclined to complain about somatic symptoms instead. Because of these issues, it is quite common for APIA individuals to feel more comfortable seeking out a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner rather than a mental health clinician, although they would also benefit from being in therapy.
For those struggling with conditions affecting the body and mind, such as chronic pain and low mood or energy, the AFI-ic provides clients the option of choosing either a comprehensive mental health evaluation, a traditional Chinese medicine assessment, or both - for a uniquely integrated approach. The health care providers at the AFI-ic clinic are distinctively qualified and experienced in treating Asian & Pacific Islander American individuals, approaching care collaboratively and with an open mind.
For more information, please contact AFI's Intake Coordinator at (415) 668-5025.