Presentation, panel discussion is May 13 for AAPI Heritage Month

Jian (Lily) Chen, executive director of the United Chinese Americans Youth Mental Health Collaborative WAVES (Wellness, Advocacy, Voices, Education, and Support)

A presentation to mark Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month will feature Jian (Lily) Chen, a leading advocate on mental health and the Asian American community.

Chen is executive director of the United Chinese Americans Youth Mental Health Collaborative WAVES (Wellness, Advocacy, Voices, Education, and Support). The organization reaches immigrant families throughout the U.S. with its community educational programs and advocacy.

Chen has a background in nursing education and public health nursing and is principal investigator for a Service Administration for Mental Health and Substances Use Mental Health Awareness training grant.

The hybrid discussion, set for May 13, is titled, “Break the Silences: How Stigma Affects Youth Mental Health in the AAPI Community.” Chen will share her work in addressing mental health stigma in Asian American and Pacific Islander youth and families.

“Stories after stories, we heard our children suffer from or die from mental illness in silence,” Chen said. “Delay in seeking help is often due to stigma and shame within our AAPI communities. Addressing stigma while overcoming many structural obstacles requires a whole community effort – all of us working together through advocacy, amplifying our voices, education and support.”

As part of the discussion of panel of med center experts will comment on mental health access in diverse AAPI communities. The panelists are:

  • Priya Gearin, MD, child psychiatrist with Nebraska Medicine, co-chair of the UNMC Wellness team and an assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Psychiatry.
  • Soonjo Hwang, MD, child psychiatrist with Nebraska Medicine and research director with the UNMC Department of Psychiatry.
  • Cecilia Yee Man Poon, PhD, a geropsychologist with Nebraska Medicine.

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, and James Linder, MD, CEO of Nebraska Medicine, are scheduled to open the session. Howard Liu, MD, chair of the UNMC Department of Psychiatry, will moderate the discussion.

The May 13 presentation will be held in the Sorrell Center, room 2018; lunch will be provided to the first 50 in-person attendees. A Zoom link is available at this link.

1 comment

  1. Howard Liu, MD, MBA, Chair, Dept. Psychiatry says:

    As a child psychiatrist and chair of psychiatry, I know that mental health access is a challenge in Nebraska. What is less well known is that among various communities, Asian Americans seek mental health services at roughly half the rate of the general population. This gap is due to stigma about mental health, challenges with finding providers fluent in Asian languages, etc. This program is an opportunity to address those challenges and suggest solutions to breaking the silence in Asian American Pacific Islander communities about mental health

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