Mental Health Resources for Asian/Pacific Islander Communities

A recent report conducted in California by RAND showed higher levels of mental health stigma among Asian/Pacific Islander (API) communities. In addition, a resource scan found that there were very few existing suicide prevention materials created by and for API families or available in API languages. With this in mind, the Know the Signs suicide prevention campaign collaborated with stakeholders from seven API communities in California to create cultural adaptations of materials designed to reach helpers. A workgroup was formed for each cultural group with members recruited through ethnic service managers and other county liaisons, and outreach to community-based organizations serving the cultural group.

Know the signs

Each workgroup participated in a series of discussions, conducted online as well as via phone calls and through webinars. The discussions yielded valuable information on how the topic of suicide is approached or avoided, who is perceived to be most at risk, and who are the most appropriate helpers. Cultural brokers were contracted to provide language adaptation, using an existing English language brochure as a guide, and the resulting draft was back-translated as well as reviewed by additional community members. Finally, organizations representing the community oversaw the development process for the new materials, including focus group testing on appropriate colors, cultural icons and symbols. The same organizations helped disseminate the materials locally.

The resulting materials vary by cultural group but include posters, brochures, print ads, postcards, tent cards, radio spots and more. The communities and languages of the final materials are: Cambodian (Khmer), Chinese (Traditional), Filipino (Tagalog), Hmong, Korean, Lao, and Vietnamese. An additional digital ad was developed in English to reach API youth.

All materials can be viewed and downloaded from the Resource Center. There is also a two-page flier that describes the overall cultural adaptation process.

In addition, Each Mind Matters has created documents such as Mental Health Myths vs. Facts and Mental Health Terms available in Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Iu Mien, and Vietnamese. These documents—along with vignettes that share stories of mental health, hope, resilience and recovery from an Asian and Pacific Islander perspective—can be found at the Each Mind Matters website.