OCC Mental Health Advocacy Program

OCC is grateful to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) for their incredibly generous grant aimed at addressing the mental and behavioral health crisis within the Chinese American community during the pandemic. With this grant, along with funding from other sources, we are determined to make a significant impact in our community by delving into mental health issues and developing sustainable solutions that extend beyond the grant period. This support from OHA enables us to initiate a powerful initiative that will have a lasting and positive effect on the well-being of individuals in our community.

Peer Advisors

Peer support can be an important tool in helping children and youth overcome personal challenges they are facing at school or at home. Our Peer Advisors are available to provide encouragement and resources to help their peers create goals and navigate stressful situations and experiences, and they are also available to simply provide an empathetic ear.

:blue_book: Becoming Peer Advisor
Reimbursement Form (Category: Peer Advisors)
W-9 Form (You may download and use the digital signature feature)

:green_book: Meeting Request Form for youth and parents looking for peer advisors
Feedback on Peer Advisors

Mental Health Retreats

Earlier this year, the OCC received a grant from the OHA to organize a series of mental health retreats in different locations across the state of Oregon, specifically targeting the local Chinese community. These weekend events, commencing in June, aim to foster connections and introduce the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to the local Chinese American communities. Additionally, the retreats provide an opportunity for OCC to establish relationships with local NAMI affiliates, paving the way for potential future collaborations. The first three retreats are currently in the planning phase and will be hosted in Bend, along the coast near Rockaway Beach, and in Joseph at Wallowa County.

Weekly Talk on Mental Health

We will host weekly talks on mental health by inviting professionals in the field.

Request for Paid Visits to Licensed Mental Health Providers

For office/virtual visits only and possibly outpatient treatment. You are encouraged to get the fee estimate first and contact us for securing the funding. However, contacting us beforehand is not mandatory. Funding will be available for services dated before 6/30/2022.
Reimbursement Form (Category: Visits to Mental Health Providers)

Financial Assistance Programs

Some funding is available specifically for the families suffered from mental illnesses.

Books on Mental Health

We have purchased books on mental health based on the recommendations from professionals and readers in the community. All the books are distributed to anyone who have requested.

Headspace Membership

Get Headspace for free, 1000+ hours of mindfulness and sleep content, Mini exercises for busy schedules, Proven to reduce stress in just 10 days.

Other Useful Resources

:information_source: YouthLine, a free and confidential teen-to-teen crisis and help line.
:information_source: How to Get Help in Portland, Oregon
:information_source: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): National, Oregon, Multnomah County, Washington County, Clackamas County
:information_source: National Institute of Mental Health
:information_source: Advocating and Planning for a Behavioral Health Peer Support Program

More Background

According to the National Latino and Asian American Study, Asian Americans have a 17.3% lifetime rate of mental illness, yet Asian Americans are three times less likely to seek mental health treatment than Whites. Youth with mental health conditions are particularly vulnerable, because they often experience overwhelming barriers, such as stigma and shame. In fact, in 2017, suicide was the leading cause of death for Asian Americans ages 15 to 24. Youth mental and behavioral health among the Chinese American community is a serious problem, and it has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The time to address mental health within the Chinese American community is long overdue, which is why we seek to make our Peer Advisory Program a priority within our work.

There are many causes for the development of mental illnesses, but the parental pressure to succeed in academics continues to be a leading cause for mental illness among Chinese American youth. The harmful “model minority” stereotype creates additional pressure on Chinese American youth to succeed both within and outside of school. Other causes include:

• Difficulty in balancing two different cultures and developing a bicultural sense of self
• Family obligations based on strong traditional and cultural values
• Racial or cultural discrimination

Mental health stigma continues to persist in Chinese culture, particularly among parents and elders. As a result, Chinese American youth tend to dismiss or deny mental health symptoms, preventing them from seeking help from trusted adults and mental health professionals.

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact us at info@pdxchinese.org