Demand #4

Expanding the services offered to marginalized students by recruiting, hiring, and retaining at least one qualified individual with experience in working with racial trauma and Asian mental health care at the University of Cincinnati Counseling and Psychological Services to support the mental health of Asian identifying students.

Why is this important?

In order to enhance inclusivity and belongingness for all, it is important to hire qualified psychologists who identify with their patients and understand the significance of cultural background when discussing mental health and trauma. The Asian diaspora consists of diverse communities, each with their own struggles, complexities, and experiences. In a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Public Health research term in 2007, some common sources that affect the mental health of Asian Americans include 

  • Stigma surrounding mental health concerns

  • Pressure to live up to the “model minority” stereotype (The model minority is an inaccurate portrayal of Asian Americans as successfully integrating into mainstream culture and overcoming challenges)

  • Family obligations based on strong traditional and cultural values

  • Discrimination due to racial or cultural background

  • Difficulty in balancing two different cultures

Research

The Asian community has faced an increase in discrimination, racism, and xenophobia over the course of time, especially during 2020.These issues can lead to serious and detrimental consequences on one’s mental and physical health. In a study by M. Spencer and colleagues (2010) found that most young Asian-Americans tend to seek out support from personal networks rather than seek professional help for their mental health concerns due to the stigma held within the community and lack of awareness of resources. 

In addition, a study by Shaohua Pei was conducted in 2018 at Iowa State University to examine the microaggression experience of Chinese international college students and analyze the stress caused from it. Pei determined nine types of microaggressions based on the reports from the students:

  • Assumption of intelligence

  • Lack of trust from professor

  • Disrespect from students

  • Being ignored

  • Difficulty in building friendships

  • Inconsistent grading practices and expectations

  • Being ridiculed for accent

  • Denied opportunities 

  • Insulting racial slurs and gestures

 

These micro-aggressive behaviors often stem from stereotypes that may appear positive but are actually harmful and damaging. It undermines the struggles of Asian-identifying individuals and can lead to serious issues with mental and physical well-being. 


With an increasing population of Asian students, UC CAPS must hire appropriate professionals to support their needs and mental well-being. The CAPS staff at the University of California, Los Angeles consists of qualified clinicians from diverse cultures and backgrounds trained to provide culturally-sensitive treatment and can speak a range of languages. The Data Overview for the 2018-2019 fiscal year reveals that 24.6% of UCLA CAPS clients identified as Asian. Therapists who identify and understand the significance of one’s culture can effectively support their patients through specialized treatments.