Feb 04, 7:00 PM EST

Asian American Youth Mental Health

In episode 2 of Generation Change, join Dr. Steve Sust, Myra Xu, Aishwarya Manoj, Ellen Fang, Jeremy Peng, Samskruthi Madireddy, and Elaine Xiao as they discuss asian American youth mental health.

Discussion points:

  • Asian cultural stigma towards mental illness
  • Acculturation gap between parent and child generation
  • Stoicism, filial piety and family communication barriers
  • Individually balancing ambition and self care when part of larger whole (family and society)

Hear from:

Dr Steve Sust, Assistant Clinical Professor. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Stanford University

​Dr. Sust received his Bachelor's degree in Psychology at George Washington University, worked as a psychiatric technician at a Virginia State Psychiatric hospital and conducted imaging genetics research at the NIMH with Dr. Daniel Weinberger's group. He received his MD at the University of Viginia, then completed adult psychiatry residency training at the University of Pennsylvania, and child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship training at Stanford University in the Community Track. Dr. Sust grew up in downtown Philadelphia as a middle child in a traditional Chinese household during the 80's, and with his unique journey fostered a strong academic interest in Asian Mental Health and Cultural Psychiatry, which he continues to pursue in his early career promoting integrated behavioral health at Asian primary care clinics within the Bay Area.

Myra Xu, allcove Youth Advisory Group member in Palo Alto, CA

I'm Myra, a current senior at Palo Alto High School who is passionate about creating open dialogue in mental health. As an Asian American, I'm especially interested in shedding light on cultural stigma towards mental illness and hope to help those navigating bi-cultural identity and communication barriers. Being a part of allcove's Youth Advisory Group has given me a unique opportunity to help create a safe and accepting space for peers battling with mental health––for Asian Americans and beyond. I'm lucky to work with other passionate young adults to advocate for meaningful change in our community, both raising awareness on stigma surrounding mental health and increase access to treatment resources. Together, I hope that we can normalize struggles with mental health and continue seeding change.

Aishwarya Manoj, allcove Youth Advisory Group member in San Jose, CA

My name is Aishwarya Manoj and I'm a junior at Monta Vista High School. I've always been passionate about mental health. Growing up, I never really learned about mental health or its importance. When I was in middle school, I finally gained access to mental health resources and started to learn about it more through the media and school. I'm interested in presenting about this topic because there is a lot of stigma against mental health in Asian-American communities, and I want to help combat that. I joined YAG because I wanted to be a part of a group that focused on early intervention for mental health issues and providing a space for everyone to get the help they need.

Ellen Fang, allcove Youth Advisory Group member in Palo Alto, CA

My name is Ellen Fang, and I use she/her/they/them pronouns. I'm 17 years old and a senior at Palo Alto High School. I'm super interested in mental health, and I hope to always do meaningful mental health work. My passion for mental health started when I went through a hard mental health period myself, and I realized how mental wellness impacts everyone and how important it is to take care of one's mental health. I wanted to be someone who could normalize healthy mental health discussions. What I've learned from different mental health volunteering experiences has really helped me deal with my own feelings and has helped me assist other people with their struggles. It makes me really happy that I've grown and that I can help others. Growing up in an Asian American family and in the Palo Alto community, I have felt a lot of pressure from certain expectations. Those pressures really affected my mental health and the mental health of a lot of my friends. In search of self-healing, I began to look to volunteer with different mental health organizations and one of the opportunities I found was YAG. I really love being a part of YAG because I feel like I'm contributing to a super cool project that will hopefully be able to normalize mental health help and bring resources to many young people. I also love that YAG connects me to such a variety of different community mental health organizations.

Jeremy Peng, allcove Youth Advisory Group member in Palo Alto, CA

My name is Jeremy Peng, and I joined YAG because I thought it was something where a youth like me could really affect the community and change for the better. I think mental health is an invaluable part of everyday life that just gets overlooked most of the time. I want to support my community and help out as many people as I can.

Samskruthi Madireddy, allcove Youth Advisory Group member in San José, CA

Hi, I am Samskuthi Madireddy, a senior at Notre Dame High School San José. I want youth to know that accessing mental health services does not need to be a source of shame. Rather, it is a powerful and crucial step toward fostering growth and better mental health. allcove is particularly special in that it truly places youth at the forefront of its design and reach, ensuring a space that is welcoming for all youth, no matter their experience or circumstances.

To me, mental wellness includes understanding and accepting one's thoughts and emotions, releasing judgement and instead adopting empathy and self-love. While it is impossible to always be happy, mental wellness means having coping skills, self-care habits, support systems, and resources to foster positive mental health. Being on the Youth Advisory Group allows me to be a part of the movement revolutionizing mental health care and fostering conversations to counter the stigma.

Elaine Xiao, allcove Youth Advisory Group member in San José, CA

I'm Elaine Xiao, a 17-yr-old student at Harker, second-generation Asian American, mental health advocate, and human! 

Growing up in an Asian household and attending a competitive high school, I've experienced the erosive effects of stigma, noncommunication, and hustle culture first-hand. And in the mix of these challenges, mental health always gets pushed aside—out of sight, out of mind. I'd love to help prompt healthy, open conversations around this culturally taboo topic so that we can better support each other as a community!

I joined the YAG because I started feeling powerless, confused—and then angrily confused—witnessing my loved ones struggling with no reliable outlet to vocalize those struggles. I've also had to reckon with my own internalized stigma and self-induced pressures. Through the YAG, it's been super exciting to collaborate with so many incredible, passionate people and redirect our grievances into concrete steps for change. Hands down, one of my best decisions ever :)

Acerca de Generation Change

The data on adolescent health and educational success in the US is of great concern. High rates of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, teen pregnancy, youth violence, and low college graduation rates compared to other industrialized nations indicate that something is missing in our support for young people.

We need a new culture of adolescent wellbeing across the United States that builds skills, resilience, and opportunities for a healthy path into adulthood. Through this series, we'll hear from youth and experts on topics including early intervention strategies, Asian American youth mental health, Native American youth mental health, the role of media in wellbeing, and more.

Join Stanford and Made of Millions as we explore how to better support our young people as they transition into adulthood and realize their full potential. Learn more about Stanford's Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing on Instagram @stanfordyouthmh.

Series originales

Apoya nuestro trabajo

Nuestra misión es cambiar la manera en que el mundo percibe la salud mental.