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Supporting AANHPI Mental Health at the Federal Level - A 2021-2022 Review

The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association commends the Biden Administration, the 117th Congress, and partnering federal agencies for its leadership in enacting policies, programs, and infrastructure dedicated towards supporting the mental health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI).


Please see below for a list of accomplishments that have taken place over the past two years:


On January 20, 2021, President Joe Biden issued Executive Order 13985 on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.


On January 21, 2021, President Joe Biden issued Executive Order 13995 on Ensuring an Equitable Pandemic Response and Recovery, which authorized the creation of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, which included a working group specifically dedicated to addressing challenges faced by the AA and NHPI communities.


On January 26, 2021, President Joe Biden introduced a memorandum condemning and combating racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.


On May 10, 2021, Representative Judy Chu, in collaboration with NAAPIMHA, introduced the first-ever Congressional Resolution to recognize May 10th as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Mental Health Day.


On May 28, 2021, President Joe Biden issued Executive Order 14031 on Advancing Equity, Justice, and Opportunity for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, authorizing the creation of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders within the Department of Health & Human Services as well as the White House Initiative on Asian American, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.


On July 16, 2021, the Department of Health & Human Services released a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register to gather public input on best practices to advance cultural competency, language access, and sensitivity toward AA and NHPIs.


On December 7, 2021, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued Advisory on Youth Mental Health Crisis Further Exposed by COVID-19 Pandemic


On December 20, 2021, President Joe Biden appointed 25 leaders to serve as commissioners to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders. The commission is charged with coordinating a whole-of-government agenda to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities.



On May 23, 2022, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an Advisory on Addressing Health Worker Burnout: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory on Building a Thriving Health Workforce. The advisory underscores the urgent need to support our health workforce and respond to the burnout crisis.


On June 24, 2022, Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and President Biden signed the bill into law the following day. This bill dramatically increases funding for lifesaving mental health and substance use care programs by expanding Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics nationwide, and by boosting funding for 988 implementation and crisis services, mental health awareness training programs, and the community mental health block grant.


On July 16, 2022, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the nation’s main connection point to suicide prevention, mental health, and substance use crisis response services became accessible through a new three-digit dialing code (988).

On September 9, 2022, HHS Awards Nearly $700,000 to the Hawaii State Department of Health to Establish an Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

On September 30, 2022, the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders released its inaugural report, which details the Commission’s first set of recommendations to advance equity, justice, and opportunity for AA and NHPI communities. The Health Equity Subcommittee submitted the following recommendation:

  • The Commission recommends that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in coordination with the White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE) and Commission, host a mental health summit focusing on Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) mental health.

On October 20, 2022, U.S. Surgeon General Releases New Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace (press release).


As we enter a new legislative session, NAAPIMHA commits to working alongside the Federal Government as well as AANHPI-serving mental health providers and community based organizations to support the mental health and wellbeing of AANHPIs nationwide.


For more information on NAAPIMHA's 2023 Policy Priorities, go to:

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