Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Planning Grant: Addressing Asian American Mental Health Needs in New York City

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

March 23, 2017







Mental illness is among the leading contributors of disease burden for New Yorkers, and the burden may be even more pronounced among Asian-American communities.

In New York City, Asian Americans are the only racial group for which suicide is one of the top 10 leading causes of death. However, Asian Americans are less likely to seek and receive mental health care because of cultural stigma, insurance limits, and a dearth of culturally and linguistically competent service providers. Given the current trends, there is a need to develop strategies to reduce stigma and other barriers to mental health services, increase awareness of the mental health needs of pan-Asian residents in New York City, and foster greater collaboration between formal service systems and community resources to reach these residents. In 2017, NYHealth awarded Asian American Federation of New York (AAF) a planning grant to identify and raise awareness of mental health issues affecting the New York City pan-Asian community and barriers associated with seeking and receiving care.

Under this grant, AAF gathered baseline data on the mental health needs of New York City’s pan-Asian community, increased awareness among key stakeholders, and developed strategies for building capacity to serve the mental health needs of the community. Specifically, AAF convened relevant community-based organizations and gathered data on the clients’ mental health needs and challenges. In addition, AAF surveyed mental health providers that serve a high percentage of Asian patients and examined the strengths and weaknesses of these particular services. Lastly, AAF prepared a white paper that outlined the findings and explores policy and funding recommendations, which was disseminated to community-based organizations, governmental agencies, and private foundations.

Read the white paper, “Overcoming Challenges to Mental Health Services for Asian New Yorkers.”