Mental Health

Asian/Pacific Islanders in America Issues of Mental Health
   from Irma Ilustre

This website seeks to provide information about mental health to Asian/Pacific Islanders living in the United States and to mental health clinicians and other professionals who work with Asian/Pacific Islander clients.

To orient content on the site, we need help from knowledgeable professionals to define what materials will be most useful on the web.  Please consider responding to the survey page so we may learn from you.

The mental health page provides information about mental health and mental illness, and how to access mental health services.

This website is a work in progress. If you have information you would like to share or questions/comments, please feel free to contact us! We value the exchange of information and ideas.

As therapy becomes more accessible to the general population, therapists will be dealing with a more diverse client population. Diversity within the ranks of therapists has also increased. These changes make it more likely that the therapeutic dyad will consist of two people who come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. In order to serve clients from different ethnic backgrounds better, it would be helpful for clinicians to have some information about their culture in order to avoid potential faux pas that could be detrimental to the therapeutic relationship. The purpose of this Internet site is to provide a forum for therapists to obtain information about working with clients from Asian/Pacific Islander backgrounds and to provide potential mental health clients from Asian/Pacific Islander descent information about therapy in order to de-mystify and de-stigmatize the experience.

This Internet site was created as part of a community practice project, a requirement for the Masters of Social Work degree at Smith College School for Social Work. The information on this Internet Site was originally gathered and published by Irma Ilustre with the help of her advisor for the project, Jim Drisko.  Because the Internet is accessible to most people, it is the best vehicle to distribute this information to both clinicians and clients.

This Internet site remains a work in progress. This project sought to interview clinicians who treat clients from Asian/Pacific Islander cultures; the information gathered would describe therapeutic approaches used, methods of interaction that were or were not successful and other issues that might be involved when dealing with clients from an Asian/Pacific Islander background. Future indications for this project would include interviewing current mental health clients of Asian/Pacific Islander descent to gather their opinions about the therapeutic experience.