Addressing the mental health crisis in the AAPI community

Nydia Han Image
Thursday, July 21, 2022
Addressing the mental health crisis in the AAPI community
Mango Tree Counseling & Consulting is a group practice geared toward helping heal trauma, specifically in AAPI patients.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Thirty-five percent of Asian Americans have reported that their mental health has worsened during the pandemic. Cali Tran of Fishtown is among them.

She struggled with symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD) when she was 14, washing her hands until they were red and raw.

Eventually her mother, a nurse practitioner, realized what was happening. With the help of talk therapy and medication, Tran got her OCD symptoms under control.

Fast forward to the pandemic when we were being counseled to constantly wash our hands.

Tran says, "(It's) not an understatement to say it was like my worst nightmare come true."

Musician and Indian American, Taizu, has been struggling, too. The coronavirus had canceled all of his shows. Then in June of last year, during Pride Month, he came out to his family on Instagram. It did not go well.

A new survey by The Trevor Project found a shocking 42% of LGBTQ youth reported seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.

Taizu says he had fleeting suicidal thoughts, which led him to become the first person in his family to seek therapy from a mental health professional.

Dr. Noel Ramirez was in his seventh year of private practice as a mental health professional when the pandemic hit and says he was completely inundated with AAPI referrals. When he tried to refer patients to other AAPI clinicians, they were fully booked too.

So he found Mango Tree Counseling & Consulting, a group practice geared toward AAPI patients. The practice has a small physical office inside the William Way LGBT Community Center but opened huge virtual doors in January 2021.

Mango Tree started with three therapists and has grown to 10, now serving 200 patients.

His sessions are mostly telemed and he offers counseling in six Asian languages-Hindi, Urdu, Mandarin, conversational Korean, Filipino & Bangla.Mango Tree hosts free, virtual Zoom sessions open to anyone who wants to talk.

One is intended for all AAPIs, another specifically for South Asians, and a third is a safe space for gay, bi, queer men.

He offers a free support group for students too.

The practice accepts most major health insurance and has a sliding scale for those who pay out of pocket.


Mango Tree:

Trevor Project: Website

STOP AAPI Hate: Mental Health report