Asian-American and Pacific-Islander Patients
The issue of mental health for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has been relatively neglected over the last decades for several reasons. First, they are the minority of minorities. Second, Orientals, particularly the Chinese in Chinatown, are stereotyped as tranquil and well disciplined; the low incidence of juvenile delinquency, crime, alcoholism, and divorce in Chinatown has often misled the public into believing that there is no serious mental health problem among this population (Sue, 1977). Third, the common notion of the “inscrutable Oriental” makes Asian Americans less attractive to the mental health professional than the YAVIS (young, attractive, verbal, intelligent, and successful) patients (Schofield, 1964). Fourth, there are relatively few bilingual and bicultural mental health professionals to present the unique problems of Asian Americans to the remaining majority of professionals. Fifth, until the middle of the 20th century, there has been no political representation for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at the congressional, or cabinet level by Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders. Finally, it is only in the last few years that mandatory priority has been given to the minorities through legislation, executive order, or court opinion. President Reagan’s budget reductions have had a heavy impact on these improvements and we fear that the net result will be the loss of all these gains for the minorities.
KeywordsMental Health Mental Illness Mental Health Service Psychotropic Drug Pacific Islander
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