2023 Policy Priorities
We fight to advance policies that:
Reduce Mental Health Stigma & Investing in Culturally & Linguistically Competent Care.
Supporting major investments in culturally and linguistically competent mental health care and resources relevant to AANHPI communities. This includes passing legislation such as the Stop Mental Health Stigma in Our Communities Act (H.R.3573) and Mental Health Workforce and Language Access Act (H.R.5937) to reduce stigma associated with mental health among AANHPI communities and to increase language access in the mental health services who serve them. Additionally, investments in both non-Western, cultural practices & programs and culturally adapted evidence based practices such as Mental Health First Aid are critical to reducing stigma and serve as sources of strength and routes to healing within AANHPI families and communities.
Invest in Infrastructure to Build Capacity of AANHPI-Serving Mental Health Coordinating Centers.
Supporting major investments to build capacity of local and national AANHPI-serving mental health organizations to coordinate efforts addressing the specific mental health needs of AANHPI communities nationwide, especially during times of collective trauma and crisis. Investments towards trainings, national collaborative networks, crisis response systems, etc.
Ensure Mental Health Investments Directly Support AANHPI Communities.
Supporting efforts to ensure current major mental health investments such as Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, 988 and Suicide Crisis Hotline, Behavioral Health Crisis & 988 Coordinating Office, Mental Health Crisis Response Partnership Program services directly support AANHPI communities.
Increase Pathways to Behavioral Health Workforce for AANHPI Communities.
With the passage of the Excellence in Mental Health Act, it is imperative to provide mental health training for AANHPI paraprofessionals to improve the current workforce in a timely, cost-effective manner. While having a degree can be important and a prerequisite to becoming a licensed mental health provider, it does not guarantee cultural and/or linguistic competence, nor can the people and communities impacted by current and historical inequities wait for individuals to receive an advanced degree. Training current and future mental health providers to embody anti-racist, equity-informed leadership is key to expanding and deepening the health equity infrastructure for our behavioral health workforce. While there is a need to increase the number of BIPOC mental health providers, it is also important to improve the competence of non-BIPOC mental health providers who lack the skills but are in positions of power to impact systems-level change and uplift future BIPOC mental health providers.
Passing legislation (bill numbers are from the 117th Congress) such as Minority Fellowship Reauthorization Act of 2022 (H.R.7857) and The Promoting Effective and Empowering Recovery Services (PEERS) in Medicare Act (S. 2144/H.R. 2767) to increase investments and pathways into the behavioral health workforce for AANHPI communities, through SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program and by allowing peer support specialists, individuals with lived experience, to participate in providing integrated mental health services.