How are Asian New Zealanders doing mentally?
A lack of awareness of mental health disorders, and limited knowledge of available services: according to this year’s New Zealand Asian Wellbeing and Mental Health Report, these are among the key barriers keeping Asian New Zealanders from seeking help for their mental health.
Commissioned by Asian Family Services, the survey set out to investigate why fewer Asians were seeking professional health. Other barriers included lack of language or cultural support when accessing mental health resources, as well as privacy concerns and the stigma associated with mental health issues.
Interestingly, 99 per cent of respondents believed the public holds negative stereotypes against people with mental illnesses. National director for Asian Family Services, Kelly Feng said these findings call for culturally-appropriate awareness campaigns.
“A lot of people are still using their own channels of social media, they don’t get those messages,” Feng said. “Even if they do get that, sometimes because of the language barrier or culture, they don’t really get the meaning of that.”
What the findings say
- 47.9 per cent of respondents said they were not able to access language or cultural support when using health services, in particular Filipinos (52.6 per cent), Chinese (50.7 per cent), and Korean (46.3 per cent).
- 44 per cent of Asians showed signs of depression, especially amongst younger Asians (61.3 per cent).
- Among the top five concerns due to Covid-19 were: Cannot return home (50.2 per cent), Recession (43.6 per cent), Racial discrimination (40.3 per cent), Health system being overloaded (38.9 per cent), Increased mental stress (38.3 per cent).
Looking for help?
Here are some useful phone numbers to call or text.
- Asian Family Services: 0800 862 342 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lifeline: 0800 543 354 | text HELP to 4347
- Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) | text 4202
- Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) | text 234 (8 am – 12 am) | email@example.com
- Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)
- What’s Up: online chat (3 pm – 10 pm) | 0800 9428 787 (12 pm – 10 pm weekdays, 3 pm – 11 pm weekends)