Report Overview

A persistent dichotomy has long been evident between self-reported data on mental health and the lived experience of community members in Asian American (AA), and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities. Self-reports portray a rosier picture than real life. Piecing the Puzzle of AANHPI Mental Health: A Community Analysis of Mental Health Experiences of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in California is a report series that aims to spur a more nuanced conversation about mental health among AA and NHPI populations by connecting survey data with community experiences as influenced by cultural nuances, U.S. foreign policy, and intergenerational trauma. It is the product of a deep analysis of recent data from the UCLA California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), an exploration of past AA and NHPI experiences in the United States, and engagement with AA and NHPI community leaders in California.

This report builds upon two prior reports by AAPI Data and UCLA CHIS that describe the state of health and mental health of AA and NHPI populations in California. Using results from the UCLA CHIS, this report offers insight on the following questions:

  • What are the cultural and historical factors that shape how AAs and NHPIs access mental health care?
  • What are the mental health experiences among AA and NHPI communities in California?

Piecing the Puzzle of AANHPI Mental Health: A Community Analysis of Mental Health Experiences of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in California is a multi-part series that includes (a) a report of cross-community themes for the AA and NHPI umbrella, and (b) seven community-specific briefs—organized by the eight detailed categories available for CHIS. The seven communities are: Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian (including Vietnamese and Other Southeast Asian), South Asian, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese. The report presents findings from the CHIS data, discusses barriers to mental health service utilization and access, and offers recommendations to better respond to the mental health needs of AA & NHPI communities.