Mental Health Among Asian Americans

Between 2000 and 2015, the U.S. Asian population grew faster than any other major racial or ethnic group at 72%, making them the largest growing immigrant group. Asian Americans are the 3rd largest minority population in Butler County and are the largest minority group in Warren County alone, according to Over 19 million people in the United States identify as Asian-American or Pacific Islander, and of that population, more than 13% were diagnosed with a mental illness in the past year. Asian-Americans report fewer mental health conditions than their white counterparts. However, they are more likely to consider and attempt suicide.

Studies show that Asian-Americans are three times less likely than their white counterparts to seek treatment for their mental health concerns. They also avoid seeking treatment or utilizing mental health services because doing so would admit the existence of a mental health disorder, and in turn would bring shame to their family’s name. Many factors affect their ability to seek help, such as language barriers, acceptance of Western medicine, age, gender, occupational issues, religion, traditional beliefs about mental health, and family structure. Language barriers vary widely among Asian sub-groups.

A study conducted by The University of Maryland School of Public Health research team (2007) looked at needs of mental health of 174 Asian-American young adults from eight Asian-American communities. The results showed that participants reported several common sources of stress that affected their overall mental health:

  • Parental pressure to succeed in academics
  • Discussing mental health concerns is considered taboo in many Asian cultures and as a result Asian Americans tend to dismiss, deny or neglect their symptoms
  • Pressure to live up to the “model minority” stereotype (a view that inaccurately portrays Asian Americans as successfully integrating into mainstream culture and having overcome the challenges of racial bias)
  • Family obligations based on strong traditional and cultural values
  • Discrimination due to racial or cultural background
  • Difficulty in balancing two different cultures and developing a bicultural sense of self

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, encourage them to seek help today. Please see below for options.

Sojourner Recovery Services is a comprehensive alcohol and drug addiction treatment and mental health service provider.

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Transitional Living, Inc. is the only healthcare organization of its kind in Butler County. In addition to its key role as a provider of a broad range of outpatient behavioral healthcare services, we are the county’s only provider of:

  • Residential care licensed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health
  • Homeless outreach funded by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Butler County Mental Health Board

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Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2020, from

Kramer, E. J., Kwong, K., Lee, E., & Chung, H. (2002). Cultural factors influencing the mental health of Asian Americans. Western Journal of Medicine, 176(4), 227-231.

López, G., Ruiz, N., & Patten, E. (2020, May 31). Key facts about Asian Americans. Retrieved July 13, 2020, from

Nishi, K. (2012). Mental Health Among Asian-Americans. Retrieved July 13, 2020, from

U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Butler County, Ohio; Warren County, Ohio. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2020, from,warrencountyohio/PST045219