On May 16th, 2023, Representative Dorris Matsui (CA-7) and Representative Bill Johnson (OH-6) re-introduced the Telemental Health Care Access Act, legislation that would remove barriers to high-quality, virtual mental and behavioral health care for Medicare beneficiaries.
NAAPIMHA applauds the re-introduction of this act and stresses the importance of telemental health services in Asian American* communities. According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, of the 25.4% of Asian adults with a mental illness who utilized mental health services in 2021, 6.2% accessed these services through telemental health. Telemental health expands access for mental health support for Asian adults who are often faced with barriers to mental health-care seeking particularly due to stigma and shame over using services and the lack of accessible, affordable, culturally & linguistically competent mental health care.
During a time where studies report one in two Asian Americans feels unsafe because of their ethnicity and 75 percent of Asian older adults in New York are afraid to leave their homes as a result of anti-Asian violence, it is vital we push for legislation which ensures that patients can fully leverage telehealth to get the care they need from home.
Take Action: Urge your legislator to support the Telemental Health Care Access Act through our AANHPI Mental Health Advocacy Platform: https://www.congressweb.com/NAAPIMHA/6
*Due to the lack of data available in SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, we are unable to provide data pertaining to Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians.