May 31, 2023  — Categorized in:

Vibrant Emotional Health to Create Advisory Board and Committing $600K to Address AANHPI Mental Health Needs Across America

Media Contact:

Divendra Jaffar, [email protected]

NEW YORK, NY – May 31, 2023 – Vibrant Emotional Health (Vibrant), one of the nation’s leading mental health organizations and the nonprofit administrator of the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, announced today that it is committing an initial $600,000 over two years to address the mental health needs of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island (AANHPI) communities across the nation. Vibrant Board Director and Executive Committee member, Robert Chang, will chair the newly formed AANHPI Advisory Council to increase awareness of mental health challenges, remove the stigma, and encourage Asian Americans, and all other minority groups to speak up and seek professional help when needed.

In recent years, suicide has been the leading cause of death for AANHPI youth ages 10 through 24 in the United States, and AANHPI youth are the only racial or ethnic group in this age category with this first leading cause of death. AANHPI communities have the lowest help-seeking rate for mental health services of any racial or ethnic group, with only 25 percent of Asian adults with a mental illness receiving treatment in 2021. The advisory council will lead Vibrant’s strategy for AANHPI outreach and awareness. These efforts will include research and mental health program campaigns to inform, educate, and raise awareness for mental health barriers and the lack of service providers available across AANHPI communities.

“As we close our celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, I am both incredibly proud and honored to be on Vibrant’s Board of Directors and to lead this critical initiative to address the mental health needs of individuals in diverse AANHPI communities across America,” said Robert Chang, Chair of the AANHPI Advisory Council at Vibrant Emotional Health. “With community-based research and collaborative outreach and education efforts, we can better understand and address the needs of the AANHPI community. The advisory council will consist of key community leaders and organizations reflecting the diversity of the AANHPI community, and over the two-year period, we will ensure that mental health service providers can provide both language- and culturally appropriate services and outreaches to AANHPI communities while working together to remove barriers to effective care and any stigma associated with seeking mental health services.”

Across our country, members of the AANHPI community continue to face unprecedented physical and verbal violence daily. Over the past years, the ongoing pandemic and its health, mental health, social, and economic effects have further amplified existing societal inequities, emphasizing that the barriers to accessing emotional health support are not the same for everyone. To address this, many mental health professionals have called for more bilingual services and better coordination between health systems and community resources that serve Asian Americans.

“Mental health challenges do not discriminate – and our work empowers all communities and we are committed to serving the needs of all Americans,” said Kimberly Williams, President and CEO at Vibrant Emotional Health. “I am grateful for Robert’s leadership and voice in helping us shape and change the narrative of mental health needs across AANHPI communities. Together we will provide these individuals with emotional support and care when, where, and how they need it.”

To learn more about Vibrant Emotional Health, visit Helpful resources are available to support AANHPI communities:


About Vibrant Emotional Health
For 50 years, Vibrant Emotional Health has been at the forefront of promoting emotional well-being for all people. As leaders, advocates, educators, and innovators in mental health, we have been raising awareness and offering support to everyone struggling. We work daily to help save lives and assist people with access to care anytime, anywhere, and in any way that works for them. We are unwavering in believing everyone can achieve emotional wellness with the proper care and support. As part of our work, we administer the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, funded by SAMHSA, which provides 24/7, accessible, and confidential support for people in emotional distress across the United States. For more information, please visit Follow Vibrant on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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