South Asian Workers Center was privileged to participate at the Asian Mental Health Conference organized by South Cove Community Center in collaboration with William James College in September. This Conference brought together mental health clinicians, researchers, and college and school professionals to address the needs and challenges of providing culturally-competent care for diverse Asian communities. Using an integrated and holistic approach, the Conference focused on the risk and protective factors that affect the physical, social, emotional and spiritual well-being of Asian individuals and families.
Based on the theme of the conference, we brought to the September Chai Adda a discussion on mental health impacting Asian- particularly South Asian- owing to implicit bias, racial micro-aggression, stigma, and discrimination on the mental health of Asians. The objective of our discussion was to identify barriers to accessing culturally sensitive mental health services in the Asian community. We sought to understand through our discussion the risk and protective factors affecting physical, spiritual, social and emotional health of South Asian as individuals and as families. We ended our discussion with brainstorming innovative holistic practices that promote overall well-being among South Asians.
Alongside, we deliberated on how best could SAWC and its members showcase our culture and ethos. A suggestion was that we put on display handicrafts belonging to the region that was exclusively crafted and sourced by our members. This would also provide a platform where our members’ business acumen could be honed.
SAWC looks forward to collaborate with organizations to identify integrative and collaborative strategies as well as community-based outreach and advocacy programs to foster further research, training and innovative healthcare practices that can bridge the gap across systems.