Community Members Attend Forum On Mental Health In Sacramento
India-West Staff Reporter
SACRAMENTO, CA – OCA Sacramento which represents Asian Pacific American Advocates a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Americans, on October 10, held a town hall forum, “Let’s Talk.”
Held on World Mental Health Day, at the California North State University in Rancho Cordova with the collaboration of a dozen local organizations including the Indian Association of Sacramento and sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank and Health Net, the event saw a turnout of more than 100 community members.
The forum was led by Dr. Bhavin Parikh, practicing psychiatrist and OCA Sacramento’s Vice President of Community Outreach.
Mental health is often a hard topic to talk about, especially for Indian Americans, Parikh said. Studies have shown Asian Americans are least likely to receive mental health treatment – only 20.8% of Asian adults with a mental illness received treatment in 2020.
There are many systemic barriers to accessing mental health care and quality treatment for Asian Americans, which are exacerbated by stigma, shame, lack of health insurance, and culturally relevant and integrated care. These disparities can lead to worsened symptoms and poorer quality of life if treatment is unavailable or delayed.
Following the tragic suicide deaths of a few Asian Americans in the Greater Sacramento area, OCA and its supporting partners started the “AAPI Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Initiative” in 2018.