Follow the instagram @mentalhealthinthediapora!
What is the South Asian Diaspora?
The South Asian Diaspora refers to people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives who do not live in their country of origin and to their children.
What is Mental Wellness?
The World Health Organization defines mental wellness as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” This definition can be achieved by supporting individuals needs through access to proper tools, awareness about the issues, and a community of support.
Why Support and not just Awareness?
While spreading awareness about mental health among south asian communities is certainly important, it is just one step to providing support. When dealing with the issues in our community we must take active steps and cater to the needs of people who need help. Through this project I hope to support wellbeing through the steps outlined below.
Follow the instagram @Mentalhealthinthediaspora
As immigration rates from South Asia increase, it is important to understand its mental health impacts on the South Asian community. Recent studies show increasing rates of Depression and Anxiety among South Asian men and women in the U.K and researchers suspect this is directly caused by the stressors shown in the infographic. Studies also show South Asian female immigrants to be more susceptible to self-harm and disorders including Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, and various Eating Disorders. During my research, I met with Dr. Mistry also known as “@thebrownpsychologist” to discuss these stressors and what we as a community can do to ease them. Dr. Mistry shared her experiences working with South Asian women and the significant impact our culture can have on triggering mental illness. She explained that lack of awareness about mental illnesses, the lack of research on South Asian mental health, and the community stigmas associated with getting mental health help all contribute to the increasing prevalence of mental illnesses among the South Asian diaspora.
What Can We Do?
We can begin the journey to mental wellness by easing the stressors in South Asian communities. One of the greatest stressors for minorities is the trauma from racism and racial biases that we carry, our first step should be looking towards what stereotypes we have internalized and unlearn them. We should also support South Asian immigrant communities by amplifying South Asian voices. The field of mental health is extremely white dominated and it is important to reach out towards South Asian professionals for representation and to truly understand the struggles of these communities. Additionally, being an ally against racism and xenophobia is one of the most important steps we can take as individuals. Wether that looks like attending protests, being critical of harmful media representation, spreading awareness by sharing @mentalhealthinthediaspora posts, or simply calling out racism in our circles, all of these actions can ease minority stressors.
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