As we emerge from the COVID pandemic in New York City, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are taking stock of the aftermath. We are reflecting on our identities, reassessing our priorities, and redefining our connections with the community around us. What remains true is that anti-Asian hate exists and continues to impact our lives and health. The collective trauma and losses have impacted our mental well-being. Western frameworks of therapy, psychiatry, and healing are generally steeped in individualistic, paternalistic, and racist ideals. How do we address this, as individuals and as a society, when there are structural and systemic constraints in the current mental healthcare system? How do we re-envision wellness outside of Western biomedicine?
In this symposium, we will grapple with these questions in several ways. In examining the limits of current data and research around AAPI mental health in NYC, we will propose areas of future research and explore how to better prepare clinicians to support our youth and families. In doing so, we will highlight cultural, familial, and community practices as strengths while challenging dominant paradigms and systems that perpetuate white supremacy.
This symposium will create a space to grieve what we have lost during the past three years, to revitalize ourselves, celebrate resilience, and explore new ways of wellness with humility. For AAPI youth in particular, we want to provide the connections, mentorship and community they need during a time when so many are struggling. While the conference centers experiences of AAPI youth, families, clinicians, and researchers, our panels are informed with the understanding that oppression intersects across communities of color and social identities. We invite participants to join us in interrogating racist paradigms and systems as we collectively build a world where systems of care work for all communities.