AAPI LGBTQ+ Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Support
Members of the LGBTQ+ community have historically suffered from substance use disorders and mental health conditions that are often left untreated due to a large disparity in safe, effective healthcare options. On top of that, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) who identify as LGBTQ+ are hit even harder.
A Look At The Numbers
A study done in 2018 showed that around 8% of Asian Americans struggle with a substance use disorder, which is higher than the national average of all people suffering. Only about 3% of Asian Americans who need treatment, however, seek help.
When looking at the number of people in the US who are suffering, 3% of the LGBTQ+ community are also AAPI. A large portion of these people struggle with discrimination, mental illness, and subsequent substance abuse. The problem is that very few addiction and behavioral health specialists currently provide care to AAPI LGBTQ+ individuals.
Not knowing where to turn or what to do can be scary when you’re suffering from addiction and feel like there is no one to help. We have compiled a list of safe resources you can turn to when seeking help and support for yourself or loved ones.
AAPI LGBTQ+ Resources
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance: This alliance aims to empower members of the LGBTQ+ AAPI community and provide representation in all communities where these individuals live and require support.
Asian Pride Project: A safe space for AAPI LGBTQ+ individuals to share their stories, connect with one another, and celebrate each individual’s journey.
The Visibility Project: An online platform for queer AAPI to document their experiences, connect with people just like them, and use social platforms to empower the voices of AAPI LGBTQ+ individuals.
I Am Not A Virus: An Asian American commission that specifically addresses the negative consequences caused by COVID to members of the AAPI and LGBTQ+ community. They offer an extensive list of resources for AAPI LGBTQ+ individuals affected by this pandemic and the stigma it caused in the US.
API Equality: A program that works to empower members of the AAPI community, provide resources that address racial discrimination, and connect people with others just like them. They work to ensure that AAPI LGBTQ+ people are seen as equals and are not discriminated against solely for how they identify.
YMSM LGBT: Establishes culturally-responsive, effective, safe, and evidence-based resources and treatments to AAPI LGBTQ+ individuals.
GAPIMNY: An organization that is meant to empower queer and trans AAPI who need support and are working to create positive change socially, economically, educationally, and culturally.
GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance: An organization working to build a community that empowers and advocates for queer and trans AAPI.
South Asian Sexual and Mental Health Alliance: An organization whose goal is to provide a safe space for AAPI who are in need of support through their mental health journey’s.
National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network: A healing justice organization whose goal is to ensure that the stigma of mental healthcare for AAPI is improved and that they are provided with the care and support needed.
AAPI Substance Abuse Support
Safe Project: The Safe Project has compiled a long list of information, research, and resources that address substance abuse and mental health specifically within the AAPI community.
National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse: An initiative that is meant to connect individuals and their family members with other people in the community suffering from any form of substance abuse.
The Asian American Drug Abuse Program: A non-profit organization whose goal is to deliver culturally specific and sensitive resources and treatment to members of the AAPI community who are in need of help.
The Union of Pan Asian Communities: A non-profit organization that addresses health and human services of AAPI individuals. They offer everything from mental health resources to addiction recovery programs.
SAMHSA: SAMHSA put together a long resource guide that focuses on educating members (and the public) of the AAPI community about the threat of substance abuse and mental illness throughout this community. They also offer a list of culturally sensitive resources and treatment services for AAPI who are struggling with these conditions.
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations: A web-based resource that provides access to substance abuse and mental health resources that are specific to the needs of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
AAPI Mental Health Resources
The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association: The goal of this association is to promote the overall wellness and mental well-being of AAPI. They work to raise awareness and provide resources to each person in need of support and care.
Project Lotus: The goal of this foundation is to destigmatize mental health in the Asian community, empower each person in need, and provide a safe place for help.
Asian American Psychological Association: A combination of educators, social workers, psychologists, and mental health professionals all working together to address the need for culturally sensitive support and behavioral healthcare in the AAPI community.
Asian Counseling and Referral Services: A service that advocates for proper care for AAPI individuals. They connect clients in need with counseling services and treatment programs that are specific to the individual’s situation and level of need. They also offer community-based services that help connect people suffering from mental health problems or substance abuse with similar individuals, reminding each person that they are not alone in this fight.
Asians Do Therapy: A website whose mission is to destigmatize mental health and increase access to care. They also offer real stories from real people (including Asian celebrities) to help bring a sense of connectedness throughout the community.
NAMI: NAMI provides a resource guide with information, statistics, research, and resources specifically about the AAPI experience with regard to addiction and mental health.
Together Empowering Asian Minds: A campaign and movement meant to empower each person to take action against discrimination and racial injustice and to provide access to empowering resources and care.
Asian Pacific Counseling and Treatment Centers: This program began as a way to help new immigrants who were struggling with racism and the mental health consequences that it caused. It has now become an agency that empowers Asian Americans, works to stop hate against this group of people, and connects members of the AAPI community with resources if they are in need.
Asian LifeNet 24-Hour Hotline: 1-877-990-8585
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
Additional AAPI Resources
Asian American Organizing Project: This organization is meant to empower Asian Americans to become leaders in politics, economics, and support the social change necessary for the long-term improvement of the AAPI situation.
Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit: An organization whose goal is to address the needs of Asian Americans who struggle with poverty, immigration, and mental health problems. This program offers resources and support, working to ensure that anyone who needs help receives it.
API Coalition: The API Coalition has created a long list of resources, including information on how to report hate crimes, mental health resources, resources for students, fundraisers, petitions, and educational materials.
AAPI Youth Rising: Another list of resources that helps to educate, and provide mental health resources, films, books, and more to provide support for any AAPI individual in need.
Asian American Journalist Association: A nonprofit organization whose goal is to increase diversity in the news arena. Their goal is to increase AAPI presence in the media, ensuring that news and anything reported is accurate, diverse, and includes the stories of AAPI people.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Resource Library: A long list of resources that includes but is not limited to anti-racism help, resources for parents, trauma, mental health support, support groups, and anti-violence resources.