Updated: May 23, 2020
NAAPIMHA, the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA), and Active Minds are excited to announce a new partnership to bring mental health education and awareness to Asian and Asian-American students on college campuses. Through the Friends DO Make a Difference initiative, collegiate chapters of NAPA will have access to programming and resources to promote mental health, reduce stigma, and encourage help-seeking in a community that may face cultural and language barriers when accessing treatment.
“We identified that mental health is a significant and unaddressed issue for many of our member organizations,” said Brian Gee, Executive Chair of NAPA. “We are excited to partner with two prominent organizations in the field of mental health to equip the collegiate leaders we represent with skills and knowledge needed to recognize and refer peers who might be struggling.”
“Research has shown that Asian students on campus with mental health problems are significantly less likely to be receiving treatment than their peers in other racial/ethnic groups,” said Sara Abelson, Senior Director of Programs at Active Minds. The Friends DO Make A Difference initiative aims to have NAPA members start a series of dialogues and activities on a range of topics, recognizing that mental health is a part of their everyday lives. NAPA chapters participating in the Friends DO Make a Difference initiative will train chapter officers and advisors to identify signs and symptoms of mental health concerns and host events with their membership to connect them to mental health resources on campus. Upon completion of mental health training and programming, chapters will be recognized with a Friends DO Make a Difference Seal of Distinction.
“The Friends campaign was designed to raise awareness of mental health among Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. The hope is to make campuses a safe place to talk about key issues as students learn how to support each other. We are excited to work closely with NAPA and Active Minds to develop student leaders who will advocate on behalf of mental health,” said DJ Ida, Executive Director of NAAPIMHA. “By working with the next generation of leaders, we hope to reduce stigma and open positive dialogue about mental health for years to come.”
“We are excited to partner with NAPA and NAAPIMHA to reach an important and often underserved community of students when it comes to mental health awareness,” said Sara Abelson, Senior Director of Programs at Active Minds. The Friends DO Make a Difference initiative will support Active Minds’ mission to empower students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help seeking.
About the National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association
The National Asian Pacific Islander American Panhellenic Association (NAPA) is an association of collegiate fraternities and sororities with an interest in culture and serving the APIA community. The organization serves to advocate the needs of its member organizations and provides a forum to share ideas and resources within its members. NAPA supports the development of positive relations through open communication with interfraternal partners to enrich the fraternal experience. Learn more at www.napa-online.org.
About Active Minds, Inc.
Active Minds is the young adult voice in mental health advocacy. By supporting a rapidly growing network of hundreds of student-led chapters at colleges and universities, Active Minds empowers students to speak openly about mental health in order to educate others and encourage help-seeking. Active Minds is a national nonprofit headquartered in Washington D.C. Follow us on Twitter @Active_Minds. For more information visit: www.ActiveMinds.org.