The “it’s ok” Campaign Counters Stigma of Mental Illness

itsoklogoThe it’s ok Campaign is an effort to battle the stigma of depression and mental illness in Asian American communities.  This project run by the Corporate Asian American Employee Network (CAAEN) will center its efforts around their Facebook page, where they will provide articles and statistics about mental health along with links to mental health providers and community groups.  The message of it’s ok is that is okay to ask for help with mental health issues.  it’s ok has also created an online forum where people can anonymously share their feelings or stories about mental health.

Asian American women 65 and older have the highest suicide rate of any American ethnic group of womenThis New America Media story about the campaign also cites statistics that say Chinese immigrants have a depression rate of 34% compared to 9% in the general population.  Despite these facts, many mental health services that target Asian Americans are underutilized.  “The stigma is so great,” says Sylvia X. Bhatia, one of the campaign’s seven founders.

It’s ok launched on May 10.  The campaign will focus first on the San Francisco Bay Area and then look to expand through the US.