My name is David Yang and I am a second year at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. I am also your APAMSA Mental Health co-Chair! I am running an anonymous survey focused on studying the prevalence of Asian American medical students. Since we released this survey a couple weeks ago, I have gotten a lot of questions on why I am doing this. We are closing the survey Wednesday, March 8, 2016! In the hopes that you’ll understand my inspiration for running this survey, I’ve laid out my reasons below.
I first became interested in mental health during college after a friend of mine talked to me about her experience with our school’s mental health services and the pressures she got from her relatives to succeed academically. I started reading about depression and suicide rates amongst college students. In the years since, I became more involved in understanding how the unique experiences of Asians living in America have contributed to our mental health – from how academic stress contributes to depression in Asian American students to the effect of our parents’ immigration history on our mental health to the stigma that kept our communities from talking about mental health and/or neuropsychiatric conditions.
When I entered medical school, I expected to find other Asian Americans who were interested in mental health. While I have connected with so many people who feel as strongly as I do about this issue, I found the research to be lacking. There is such a large focus on the mental well-being of medical students. Why did I only find three papers that reported on depression of Asian American medical students? Since Asian Americans constitute a significant portion of the medical student population, are there programs that medical schools can implement to provide culturally competent mental health care to us?
These two big questions led me to this survey. How can we talk about our mental health without trying to understand the problem? The results of this survey will continue the conversation that was started at last year’s National APAMSA Conference on mental health in the Asian American community. It will give all of us research to better transform our schools and our future practice. And I hope it will inspire you to answer your own questions about mental health in our community!
Please click here to access the survey.
Thanks again for filling out this survey!