Cultural and Familial Expectations – The topic of mental health is rarely brought up among Asian and Pacific Islander (API) groups. There are various factors that discourage the discussion of mental health in these communities—ones that are driven by cultural and familial expectations. Numerous young men in the API community are pressured to meet those expectations, and are rarely given a reason not to do so.
They are expected to be knowledgeable of cultural practices, to be financially stable, and to bring pride to and carry on the family name. For some of these young men, their parents are raising them to ensure they meet these family dynamics. Their personal and social lives are controlled by their families, their choices are limited, and the decisions that control their futures are made by their parents.
Many families within these communities have developed a level of ambition for their children to strive for, and coming up short can place young API men in situations where they develop guilt and anxiety. It needs to be understood that, for many of these young men, this is all they were taught, and that failing to do so can cause negative feelings to develop. Scores of young API men find themselves in a state of mental instability trying to accommodate their families.
By Mitieli Gonemaituba, Content Contributor