By Alicia Aquino
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a drastic effect on our mental health, especially for the Asian community. For many Asian people, stigma regarding mental health contributes to a hesitancy to discuss the issue. People do not know where to start when seeking out resources, help and treatment.
One of the easiest ways to find information and resources is by using online communities.
Discover three helpful Asian-Canadian websites:
The Colour Project is a Canadian non-profit organisation that aims to make support more accessible by offering free, anonymous, text-based peer support for mental health. Created by Ian and Amanda Feng, their goal was to create a non-judgemental space where individuals can easily access support when needed.
The project creates a community of people with similar experiences and allows them to realise they don’t need to battle through life on their own. Being a free, text-based resource makes this a great option for those seeking mental health support for the first time.
The Asian Mental Health Project is an online community that focuses on the cultural stigma that many Asian-Canadians face when seeking mental health support and treatment. The project offers resources accessible to all, including telephone hotlines and recommended therapists for Asian, 2SLGBTQ+, and other marginalised communities. Additionally, they offer a Therapist Outreach Template to aid those considering reaching out to a therapist for the first time.
The project is also known for creating online talks on topics such as stress and stigma, and ‘check-ins’ which serve as an open healing space and discussion. Recently, the project has teamed with Hollaback! to provide bystander intervention and de-escalation online training workshops with translations and interpretations in Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, and more.
The Cold Tea Collective is a media platform sharing the stories and experiences of North American Asian millennials. The online platform includes blog posts, podcasts and other stories covering topics from arts and culture to health and wellness. Headquartered in Vancouver, the collective has writers spanning all over Canada and North America.
The Cold Tea Collective is passionate about giving Asian millennials a platform to understand and connect with themselves and the world around them. They value sharing authentic stories and creating quality content and conversations. One blog post that caught my eye is titled “Quarantine qapsule: Archiving the Asian Canadian Experience”. Written by the user, Nightingale, the post unravels the detrimental effects the pandemic had on the Asian Canadian community.
Exploring these resources are a great way to dive into the Asian online mental health and wellness community. There are hundreds of stories to read, topics to discuss, and safe spaces to confide in. Starting your mental health journey can be scary, but remember that your feelings are valid, and there is no shame in mental health issues. By educating ourselves on these topics, and having these tough conversations with family and friends, together we can end this stigma.