depression, suicide and asian american women

As we all know, there has been quite a bit of scrutiny on the topic of mental health issues in the Asian American community over the last several weeks. CNN has an article on the alarmingly high suicide rate among Asian American women: Push to achieve tied to suicide in Asian-American women. And tonight on CNN, Elizabeth Cohen examines depression in Asian American women and the cultural stigma against getting help on Paula Zahn Now, 8:00pm ET.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Asian American women ages 15-24 have the highest suicide rate of women in any race or ethnic group in that age group. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Asian American women in that age range. That is an astounding, sobering statistic. While there are no easy answers, the article suggests that it has a lot to do with the tremendous family pressure and cultural expectation to be the perfect daughter/student/citizen. I can believe it. And it's not just your family or Asian culture doing the pushing—it's the society at large, reinforcing the ridculous "model minority" standard, amidst all the other crap we have to deal with.

I also wonder what kind of research has been done regarding depression and suicide among Asian American men... I'm thinking the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy has shone a spotlight in that direction as well.

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