Did you know that Asians make up the fastest-growing ethnic minority population in the U.S.? By the year 2055, Asians are projected to become the largest immigrant group in the country (Pew Research Center, 2017). In the city of Atlanta alone, there are over half a million Asian-identified individuals. Of the top ten most-spoken languages in Georgia, five are Asian (Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Hindi, and Gujarati).
While Asian populations throughout the U.S. continue to rise, a disproportionate number of Asian mental health providers are available to serve such communities. Millions of Asian Americans are diagnosed with a mental illness each year, however, research suggests that Asian Americans are three times less likely to seek out mental health treatment compared to their Non-Hispanic White counterparts (SAMHSA, 2018). Although service utilization is low among this population, this does not necessarily indicate a lower need for services (Chu & Sue, 2011).
Due to a myriad of barriers including stigma, many Asian Americans turn to close friends, family members, and community members rather than professionals for their mental health concerns. Others seek help from medical professionals such as primary care physicians or alternative health providers such as traditional medicine specialists and herbalists. While these sources may provide short-term comfort, chronic mental health conditions require evidence-based treatment and professional guidance. However, studies show that even after contact with a mental health professional, one-third of Asian Americans never follow-through and make it to their session (Akutsu, Tsuru, & Chu, 2004).
As mental health professionals, we recognize the potential dangers of not seeking treatment when needed. As Asians, we understand how lonely it might feel when it seems like "no one gets me." For these reasons, we have made it our mission to create this directory. We hope that you are able to seek the support you deserve and realize that no matter how overwhelming life's challenges seem to be, you are not alone.