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Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander Mental Health Day

Article Briana Evans, Senior Community Health Planner

This month, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will recognize May 10 as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Mental Health Awareness Day. May is both Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and Mental Health Awareness Month. These communities have traditionally faced heightened stigma around mental health and substance use issues. Lack of awareness of available resources and the stigma surrounding mental health issues are the biggest deterrents in seeking professional help. Issues of immigration, housing, discrimination and access to care create additional barriers to wellness.

May 10 offers an opportunity to celebrate the resilience of AANHPI communities and share the challenges AANHPI communities face in seeking mental health care.

The proclamation will be held at 9 a.m. on May 8, at 400 County Center, Redwood City. Representatives from the Chinese Health Initiative (CHI), Filipino Mental Health Initiative (FMHI) and the Pacific Islander Initiative (PII) will share stories about recovering from mental health challenges. They will explain how issues of culture, family and community can impact a person’s overall wellness.

Communities Coming Together – Intergenerational Feast

After the proclamation, CHI, FMHI, and PII will celebrate AANHPI heritage with an Intergenerational Feast designed to build community and share information about AANHPI behavioral health. The event will take place on Sunday, May 20 at the South San Francisco Municipal Center from 4 to 7 p.m. All are welcome to celebrate SMC’s API community with us!

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