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Updated: May 23, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is having a profound impact on communities around the world. It is forever changing what we do, how we do it and ways we need to make ourselves safe, both physically and emotionally. COVID19 shines a light on the need for mental health but how we create healthy communities will last beyond the life of this pandemic. Unfortunately, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders have once again been targeted for racial backlash. There is no question about it, racism is a mental health issue that can result in serious emotional stress and fear of one’s physical safety.

The healing process for the entire country will take a long time. Everyone wants things to go back to normal. It is completely understandable for many who face an uncertain future due to loss of income, loss of loved ones, and complete upheaval in one’s life but moving too quickly can have major consequences. The following are a few things we can all do.

Ways to stay emotionally/physically healthy:

  1. Listen to medical advice from medical experts who actually know what they are talking about

  2. Don’t panic, don’t hoard – take care of your needs but take only what you need.

  3. Find ways to keep occupied if home bound – read a book, listen to music, do a Marie Kondo and clean closets, binge watch your favorite or new program

  4. Maintain a routine to whatever degree is possible

  5. Stay active. Exercise, get fresh air and go for walks if possible but maintain social distance guidelines

  6. Understand that this is a very stressful time and being in close quarters can increase tensions

  7. Be patient and take time away from each other if tensions rise

  8. Practice relaxation techniques, meditate, breath deeply, stretch

  9. Reduce isolation by staying in contact with others through social media of choice

  10. Help others, this can actually improve our own mental health.

  11. If possible, volunteer, donate food to homeless shelters, help deliver supplies to elders, make masks, be creative

  12. Smile and say thank you at the grocery store, to the person who delivers the mail, to bus drivers, trash collectors…and all those who keep the country open

  13. If possible, order take out to support local restaurants

  14. Be proactive for things that help improve quality of life for all our communities

  15. Do not accept racist actions, thoughts, beliefs

  16. Claim for yourself what it means to be Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

  17. Report incidents of racial harassment – being Chinese is not the cause of the coronavirus! …….refer back to first bullet!

Be kind, stay informed, be patient, stay safe. We are all in this together


AANHPI organizations addressing COVID19

  1. Asian American Psychological Association

  2. Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations

  3. Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum

  4. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

  5. Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

  6. Boat People SOS

  7. National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association

  8. National Council of Asian Pacific Americans

  9. National Federation of Filipino American Association

  10. OCA National Center COVID19 Toolkit

  11. South Asian Americans Leading Together COVID19

  12. Southeast Asia Resource Action Center

Mental Health Advocacy organizations

  1. American Psychological Association

  2. American Psychiatric Association CV19

  3. Anxiety and Depression Association of America how to talk to your anxious child or teen

  4. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

  5. Child Mind Institute, Talking to Children about COVID19

  6. Depression and Bi-polar Support Association

  7. Direct Online and Phone Support Services for LGBTQ Youth

  8. Futures without Violence addressing domestic violence

  9. Mental Health America

  10. National Alliance on Mental Health

  11. National Association for School Psychologists COVID19 Resource Center

  12. National Domestic Violence Hot Line 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY

  13. National Council for Behavioral Health

  14. Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Federal Mental Health Resources

US Department of Health and Human Services

  1. Administration for Children and Families

  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention

  3. National Institutes of Health

  4. National Institute of Mental Health

  5. Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration

Other in language resources

  1. Government of District of Columbia

  2. Harvard Health Publishing – in-language COVID19 Fact Sheets

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