MetroPlusHealth survey finds AAPI women face greater barriers to mental health access and support in New York City

MetroPlusHealth, New York City’s quality, affordable health plan, held its AAPI 2022 Survey of Mental Health Among Women in New York City in April and found that Asian women in New York City feel they have far less mental health support and resources than the average woman in the city. The disparity between high demand and low availability of linguistically and culturally appropriate mental health service providers is a significant gap in access to treatment.

68% of AAPI women who participated in the New York City survey agree that talking to a mental health professional would have a positive impact on their lives. Still, only 27% of Asian women strongly agree that they feel supported by family and friends, compared to 35% of the general population of New York women. 69% of Asian women said they knew they could talk to a family doctor about their mental health, compared to 80% of women in the general New York City population.

Additionally, only 35% of Asian women know of a local community organization that provides mental health services in their preferred language, compared to 49% of women in the general population in New York City.

There are also generational differences at play among AAPI women. While Gen Z women surveyed reported feeling more stressed than baby boomers (40% vs. 9% strongly agree), they are also more likely to encourage friends and family to seek professional services mental health (32% vs. 13%), prefer to talk to a professional who speaks their language (33% vs. 3%), and feel they don’t prioritize their mental health enough (22% vs. 3%).

Lack of understanding about mental illness and the contamination associated with mental health problems can lead to denial or neglect of mental health problems.

“The key barrier to seeking help is often what you’ve absorbed yourself: you feel stigmatized, you feel ashamed, and part of the problem is that you may not feel as comfortable talking about mental health issues as you do about physical issues,” he said. Dr. Sanjiv Shah, Medical Director of MetroPlusHealth. “We need to do a much better job of removing the stigma surrounding mental illness.”

According to a recent analysis by the New York Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), AAPI immigrants are “one of the most diverse racial groups in the city, representing more than 30 different ethnic groups and they speak more than 50 languages” with a high rate of poverty. Velocity. The analysis also states that “there has been an increase in incidents of discrimination and violence against AAPI individuals, rooted in the long history of racism, stereotyping, and scapegoating of immigrant communities in the United States.”

Culturally sensitive and fluent in more than 40 languages, the MetroPlusHealth staff is as diverse as the great city we serve. In August, MetroPlusHealth opened a new main office in Flushing, Queens, and partners with local community organizations. The Flushing office reflects MetroPlusHealth’s commitment to be more than a health plan for its members and communities.

“In traditional Asian culture, mental health is rarely talked about,” said Dr. Eric Wei, senior vice president and chief quality officer for NYC Health + Hospitals. “But each generation is seeing more and more benefits from seeking mental health services and they are trying to convince their parents, aunts and uncles and grandparents that it is okay.

To enhance the AAPI community’s awareness of mental health support, MetroPlusHealth is hosting its first Mental Health Talk campaign on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. On May 25, MetroPlusHealth will also host a virtual town hall focused on AAPI mental health.

Members of the public can register to attend the virtual Town Hall at

To learn about MetroPlusHealth’s behavioral health programs, visit

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