There are many negative connotations associated with the topic of mental health in Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Some go as far as rejecting its existence. Sometimes, these cultures do not fully encourage men to be open about their feelings or even properly express them. From a young age, some boys are taught not to show vulnerability, which is something they take into their youth and even into adulthood. In API families, showing vulnerability is often perceived/viewed as a personal weakness, or a lack of faith and/or self-control. Young men are taught that they must stay strong. They are led to believe that expressing oneself is considered a feminine quality. So many young API men fall into a state of depression or anger, finding other ways to cope rather than talking about it or seeking treatment. Oftentimes, they turn to drugs and alcohol, which leads them down the wrong path. Some will refuse to acknowledge their condition and won’t seek mental healthcare. Many fear the negative labels placed on someone who is mentally unstable. They fear humiliation from their families and communities. And so they carry on, leaving their mental health unchecked.
By Mitieli Gonemaituba, Content Contributor