Bund to Brooklyn

Episode 13: Carrie Zhang and the Asian Mental Health Project

Episode Summary

On Episode 13 we're joined by Carrie Zhang, founder of the Asian Mental Health Project. Carrie shares her journey to become a champion for mental health in the AAPI community and gives us some of her personal advice on how to converse about mental health across generations. Jenny and Lucia also discuss the growing emphasis on mental health after COVID lockdowns in the States and most recently, in China.

Episode Notes

Carrie joins the pod and shares how she came to start the Asian Mental Health Project. (4:15)

What Carrie finds are the most challenging and rewarding parts of starting AMHP (8:51)

Jenny Tang shares her views on mental health in China as it relates to the Shanghai lockdown (11:31)

How COVID influenced a focus on mental health in the States and China (16:22)

How to talk to immigrant parents in the States about mental health (23:32)

Tools and resources Carrie recommends {32:30)


The Asian Mental Health Project

Follow us on IG: @bundtobrooklyn

Follow us on Twitter: @bundtobrooklyn

Questions? Requests? E-mail us @ b2b@1990institute.org

Learn more about the 1990 Institute

Episode Transcription

This transcript is automatically generated by Descript.


[00:00:00] I listeners and welcome back to been to Brooklyn. We actually have a new correspondent today. Jenny, do you want to introduce yourself? Hi Lucy. I thank you for introducing me quickly. So I'm Jenny and I'm currently based in Shanghai. Introduction. I was born in CN and I lived in Shinjin in the nineties before moving to Sydney where I finished my bachelor's.

[00:00:25] I came back to China in 2010, my masters, and I'm currently working on documentaries and digital videos, basically creating content and stories about China for the world. Speaking of content, the 99 Institute YouTube channel just released a new video called Chinese millennials reflections on life in America.

[00:00:46] So a short plug, we randomly interviewed a dozen Chinese millennials from the streets of Shanghai and ask them a series of questions about their impressions of American. American millennials and what's important their lives. I think you'll find some of their responses quite surprising. So please check it out and we will share the link in the description later.

[00:01:09] Awesome. Did I tell you, I also love your accent. I love the accent as well. I always forget. I'm like my accent, right? American accent. We find it pretty sexy, to be honest. What really in Shanghai? Well, I mean, Australians do, when we hear American X and we get really excited and we were like, Hey, are you American?

[00:01:29] Where are you from? Like, we really, really, we really did. Really, I feel like it's the opposite. I feel like it's like, wherever you go and you have an American accent, you better say you're Canadian because people just don't like American tourists. No, I find Americans. I really friendly and they're very open-minded so I really like our media Americans and I think that's why Australians really look forward to meeting Americans.

[00:01:54] Also, we grew up in American culture as well. So to actually see someone. Speaking an accent that we only saw on TV. That's actually quite cool as well. And so funny, I learned something new today. So you said you're based in Shanghai. How is the situation going for you? I know you're probably in quarantine right now.

[00:02:13] That's correct. I'm two weeks into my lockdown and maybe a few more weeks. Yeah. Is there a rollercoaster, but I think today's topic about mental health is super topical and very important because I think a lot of people are struggling, not just in Shanghai, but in China and in different parts of the world.

[00:02:33] I think COVID has really brought to the surface, the importance of mental health or. Yeah, totally. And like speaking about mental health. So for those of you guys who've paid attention to the news, there was actually a recent Brooklyn shooting at a subway station and sunset park. And that was actually three stops away from my house.

[00:02:55] And that same morning I was literally contemplating if I should take the subway or not. So it just hits really close to home. And the fact that. I think it's like how many people, 19 people were injured during that could have Astrophe. It's super crazy to think about. And again, to your point, Jenny today's topic on mental health is super relevant, especially for people who are thinking about like how anxious they are to like leave the house with COVID, but also.

[00:03:26] More and more crimes, especially here happening in New York city and how to like cope with all of it. So today's guest is actually, uh, Karis Ang, who is the founder of Asian mental health project. And we talked to her about her journey for creating this non-profit and what mental health really means and how we can, uh, lean in a bit more to understand mental health.

[00:03:50] Before we dive into the episode. It'd be great. If you want to email us where@b2batnineteenninetyinstitute.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter, where at bunch of Brooklyn on both Instagram and Twitter, and then be sure to listen to us on Spotify, apple, or wherever you get your podcasts. All right. Onto Carrie.

[00:04:15] So Carrie, super excited to have you on our podcast fund of Brooklyn. Do you mind quickly introducing? Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I'm Carrie. I am based in Los Angeles. I am founder of Asian mental health project, daughter of Taiwanese and Chinese immigrants. And you know, just a really passionate advocate for social justice, civil rights, and.

[00:04:37] Excellent. And, um, actually prior to our talk, I listened to your Ted talk and it's actually a song about your parents. Oh my God. Oh, wow. Yes, I did do a Ted talk, but it was not a talk. I had a ukulele and I was wrapping up. It's bizarre now than I retrack it, but it was a very proud moment for my parents.

[00:05:00] So I'm sure it was. And like, I'm sure being children of immigrants has really like impacted you and affected you and the way that you sort of bring yourself to the world, right. Tell us a bit about like how you decided to found, uh, Asian, mental health collective. Yeah. I'm so Asian men's health project is, is the organization that I have is a couple of them.

[00:05:24] Asian men's health collective is another one. Uh, they're awesome. Uh, the Asian men health project is the one that I've been working on and running for the last like three or so years. And it really came about because I was struggling. I, uh, it came out about after college and after college, I sort of had this like reckoning.

[00:05:42] I had gone through, you know, a couple of intense mental health care initiatives for myself, you know, like therapy, group therapy, psychiatry, medication, et cetera. And that was a very difficult process for me in college for a number of reasons we can dive into there. So after I graduated. Holy crap. Like I just went through all of this and I realized there was a lot of, it was directly related to my like gender identity, like my culture, my ethnic background, cultural stigma and things like that.

[00:06:12] So I just started this big like aha moment of like, wow. My identity is really connected to my mental health. I wonder if there's a way I can explore this further, not just for myself, but for, you know, my friends and. My family and the people that, you know, I was around. I know I had the feeling that other Asian folks are going through this thing as well, and going through mental health issues.

[00:06:33] And at the time it wasn't very talked about, and my background is in PR and communications. That's all about making information easier to digest. I'm not a mental professional, but I was like, there has to be some way to like, tell these stories and to share these stories about mental health, to help make it easier to talk about it in Asian households.

[00:06:51] So started the. Off of an Instagram post, uh, from then it was really interesting. Like I was in my personal Instagram, I was like, hello, is anybody interested in talking about Asian, mental health? We're a multimedia project. Don't know what it's going to look like. Don't know what this is, but you know, like, let's talk.

[00:07:08] And then I got to talk about. 60 people. They all told me their experiences with mental health. And a lot of them were like, I've never talked about this before. And then what I realized was everybody had very different experiences, different cultural backgrounds, different family backgrounds, and just different individualized backgrounds.

[00:07:24] But there were a lot of key themes such as like self-loathing. People pleasing and things like that, that a lot of Asian folks than people are children of immigrants sort of go through. So after identifying those key themes, I was like, wow, there really is a problem here. And there really is a way to solve it and, or not solve it, but a way to make things better would have met her, manage it.

[00:07:44] And that's through, you know, multimedia storytelling, social media, eventually when COVID. We really grew our project from just being an Instagram account that shared facts and stories and things to tangible services. You know, we provide weekly wellness. Check-ins so pure support opportunities where people can, you know, come and be amongst other Asian folks as well as other educational events.

[00:08:06] But we were also able to provide funding for two individuals to be able to seek mental health support and housing support. That's one big part of my mission and that's like a big next step for me is to be able to find ways to sponsor mental health journeys, whether that looks like helping people find therapists or helping people financially pay for things that they need for their mental health care.

[00:08:26] And I'm not just talking about therapy. I have the core belief that mental health care runs deeper than that. It's secure housing, secure food, et cetera. So, you know, I'm hoping to. Take that philosophy and create mental health sponsorship opportunities for, for, for folks that need it. So, yeah. Sorry. That was so long.

[00:08:44] I was like, where do I start? Where do I end? So here I am. Thank you so much, Kari, for sharing your inspiring journey. And I'm really curious in all of this, what do you find the most challenging, but also the most rewarding part of starting an Asia mental health project for you? Yeah. Oh my gosh. The most challenging part and the most rewarding part, I have to think about that for a little bit.

[00:09:10] The challenging part is trying to find ways to tangibly help in. In a space that you constantly have to peel back layers. Like I think the challenging part for me was like, okay, let's, we'll start with content. We'll start with like, talking about these topics. Okay. Well, now that the contents there, people read about maybe anxiety or something.

[00:09:33] Now what, like now people are stuck with information that, what, what can we do to w how can I, how can I address that as someone who's a viewer of the content now, I'm like, okay, well, how can I help the person that read about something and doesn't know what to do about it? Like, what's the next step for us.

[00:09:50] And so trying to provide services to cover those different steps is very challenging. So I feel like. Trying to find our footing in terms of what we offer as a, as an organization now has overall been challenging. I also just didn't expect for it to grow as a did. And that also comes off the coattails. I think a lot of our success and growth unfortunately came off the coattails of a lot of tragedy and finding that.

[00:10:19] Balance. And also being able to like proactively support and be reactive to all the things that are going on in the world with Asian mental health project has proven to be challenging, but in a rewarding way, like as mentioned before, when COVID hit and there was a lot of anti-Asian rhetoric and violence and things like that, we found ourselves having to respond very quickly to these things and opening up proofs and.

[00:10:41] People really needed those spaces. You know, our highest attended events are ones that happened directly after crisis. Our most shared thing. Have to do with crisis in the world. So to be able to provide that crisis support is very rewarding and very, I think in our part necessary to the core of our mission, but also very challenging and to that front and to what I was saying before, I was like, how can we respond to those crisis moments, but also continue to nurture and provide services along the way, just because the philosophy of mental health is like, you don't want to necessarily wait until there's a.

[00:11:16] For two, for anyone who want to be preemptive. Exactly. So that's that, even from an organizational standpoint, the challenge is balancing those, those friends say with the bandwidth that we have. So I hope that all made sense. I was like, oh, this is a good question. Oh my gosh. What are the challenges? So many?

[00:11:31] Well, I actually knew I have a question for Jenny because I'm guessing you're quarantined right now in Shanghai. And it's been like weeks. My parents are in Shanghai as well. And they've been quarantine for like, I think maybe like two weeks now. And so tell us about, I guess just the mental health sphere or like a mental state of somebody who's like quarantined in Shanghai right now.

[00:11:55] Yeah, that's a great question. And I think the one word I have to say, so like a roller coaster is seeing like a roller coaster for mainly my mental health, because. I've I'm pretty lucky. I'm only, I'm only on the lockdown for two weeks. I know people who has been under locked down for a month in Shanghai.

[00:12:14] And I think the scariest thing is not just the kind of lack of food supply, but it's also not knowing when you were end. It's just the endlessness that is actually causing a lot of anxiety around me. There are people who are feeling the impacts of being locked down. I have heard of stories of people.

[00:12:34] Basically kind of lashing out suicides, you know, I hope it's not too heavy or the topic in China and there's lot of negative news coming up. So I think that also affects a lot of people. So I have never been more aware of my mental health than now because I'm in my head space. I cannot go anywhere. And I think that's the same for a lot of people in Shanghai.

[00:12:54] And I think it's just like what Carrie said before. Sometimes it takes crisis for us to realize how important something is and it actually. This crisis, not just for me, but for a lot of people around me in Shanghai, in China, to realize how important mental health is. Because as you know, it's not really a topic that is traditionally talk about within Asian societies or communities.

[00:13:18] So it has been very tough, but one silver lining from this is that people are becoming more aware of the importance of mental health in Asian. Yeah, I so like funny story because my mom and I would chat occasionally. Like my parents are both quarantined in two different places. My dad owns a business, so he had to be quarantined at work.

[00:13:41] And so my mom's at home by herself with her dog. And I sent her a news article about just being quarantined in Shanghai. How, like America has like positioned it as like people are going a little crazy and people are like screaming from their apartment complexes. And the thing that my mom sent back to me when she was like, Oh, yeah, they're whole they're hosting like neighborhood concerts, like apparently certain neighborhoods or it was just like blasting music out there.

[00:14:10] Windows is like a form of just, I dunno, like some way to inter yeah. Release exactly. Like some way to like interact with people. So like, I wanted to sort of ask both of you guys. You're seeing people in America cope with the COVID crisis from like a mental health perspective, and then how people in China are coping with it.

[00:14:31] Cause like, if you can imagine having a mandated quarantine and then testing like three times a day for COVID would I think drive people in America insane. So it's just would love to hear a bit more about like the dichotomy. Yeah. I mean, I don't know if I can speak for all of America, but I mean, it's, it's interesting that you, you, uh, bring up, I didn't able to do that here.

[00:14:57] Like I remember taking off and watching tick talks of people like playing music out of their basket. Which is like, so cute and fun, but it was like kind of sad to think about like, let's, because we literally can't get out of here. And, and I feel like there's just like an American restlessness, like, like an impatience and inability to like face still.

[00:15:15] Hopefully no one comes at me for that, but like, like, I feel like it's true. I think people. In the states, it was so like state by state mandates are so different that it was really difficult to get everybody to wear masks even right now, like I'm in LA and they just lifted basket mandates for like indoor dining and things like that.

[00:15:36] But like, I also have. Seeing people not wear masks before as well. And it gets really scary because it's like, okay, well, I know when I was talking to my parents about life in Asia, like in Taiwan, for example, my mom was like, oh, he's praising how Taiwanese government and things to care. And people took care of each other during COVID like everyone wore masks out of courtesy.

[00:15:58] People would stay home, things like that. And that's not something that I've necessarily experienced here in the states, but I think there's a culture of. Don't take away my freedom, but there's a lack of consideration. I was like, what if that quote, unquote freedom infringes on the safety and wellbeing of others.

[00:16:14] And I don't think that's necessarily thought out as well in the states, but as you were saying, like, how do people here cope with mental health to that front? I mean, isolation did happen this huge. Collectively traumatic event happened everywhere in the globe and in the states, I feel like a lot of people were, as you were saying, Jenny, like forced to sort of look inward and think about the mental health because you're spending so much time alone, you realize, oh crap.

[00:16:40] Like there's a lot of stuff that goes on in my brain. I have yet to figure out, and now I have nothing else to do, but think about it. So now might as well turn inwards to mental health. So I've seen like a really big shift in movement, which I think this. Towards being more cognizant of mental health care that being said, does that mean that we're not in like a mental health crisis right now?

[00:16:59] No. I think there's a big crisis in mental health. Now that that was brought upon by the pandemic because of the isolation, things like that, but there are more solutions and more conversations that play, but that credit goes to what I was talking about earlier of like, Yes, the start of the conversation is there and that's great, but what do we do with it?

[00:17:17] How do we help people? How do we help each other? How do we help ourselves when we are faced with this realization that, oh shit, like mental health is a very large issue right now. How can we cope with it as a country, as people who are living on this earth and experiencing these things because of this large traumatic event.

[00:17:34] Yeah. I have like an introspection, like sort of some, some sort of like awakening because. Of the fact that we're forced to, like when you're forced to be with yourself and you realize, oh, there's a lot of things that I need to work through. What are you seeing Jenny on your side? From my observation, looking at the reactions of lockdown around the world, because one thing about being in China is that lockdowns are not new right now because we see in happening in the past two years in different parts of the world.

[00:18:03] And, but now that we experienced it two years into the COVID, I realized the quake. Uh, desire for freedom and Liberty is not just a American trait, actually a lot of Chinese, especially in Shanghai also. They crave it now they've been kind of taken away from it. So I think we're not so different. The American desire for Liberty independence.

[00:18:27] Also, you can see it around here in Shanghai, that being locked down, people would be like, I can't take my freedom for granted. So that's why there is a feel of a mess and not so much. Complete obedience. That is same time. I realize what Carrie said about collectiveness because before lockdown, I tend to travel a lot around, around China.

[00:18:46] I don't really know my neighbors, but because the fact we've forced to be inside our compound, our buildings, we. I didn't realize I have amazing neighbors. Like we barter for goods. People take care of each other. There's two or three positives to my building and we give them a free food and medicine that we don't ask for.

[00:19:07] Anything there, a lot of collectiveness. And I think in the, in the darkness there is light and I felt really warm from this. I feel like I saw humanity coming out. Despite of the darkness. So that was one positive that's coming out. And I think that really helped with our mental health, because I think collectiveness and feeling part of the community is so important because otherwise you feel so isolated in your own home with no one, especially if me living by myself, it has been very tough on the young people's mental health as well.

[00:19:36] Also, I'd like to talk about just the mental health support that China's slowly beginning to have. Shanghai has a English speaking, mental health or. Which again is only English speaking, but I noticed because of this lockdown, there are a few Chinese speaking, mental health support coming up. So that is actually making me feeling really happy that there is more exposure and more awareness of mental health in China.

[00:20:01] So I'm really hoping because of this crisis, that. There will be more talk and discussion about importance of mental health within Asian communities. Absolutely. Yeah. Sorry for you, Lucy, because you're in New York. I remember for you a few years ago or 20, 20 New York had a, a locked down as well. And also again, the year after I want to, how did that affect you in your mental health?

[00:20:27] Because I know that was a really big news for us in China's. Yeah. Yeah, sure. I mean, I feel really lucky because my husband and I get along and we haven't gotten to the point where we wanted to like kill each other yet, yet I'm going to knock on wood. And so it feels like, I don't know. I think like initially we were super, super careful, right?

[00:20:48] Because like in March there was a, a huge spike and a lot of the hospitals were overwhelmed with. COVID patients. And so a lot of like our friends who are doctors were telling us how there weren't enough beds in the ICU for people who are truly sick, like people who had cancer and everything. And so it was, it was super tough because.

[00:21:11] My husband and I lived in this like one bedroom that like faced a wall and there was like, no sunlight whatsoever. So we're like in this super cramped space and there was no light. And so it felt like we were living in this deep, dark cave and it was fine normally. Cause in New York, like we used to just like always go out for dinner, whatever.

[00:21:31] And like you, you just came home to sleep. But during COVID like the initial lockdown, it was really, really tough. Cause like we really just didn't know. Foot outside. But I think one thing that Jenny you mentioned is like, the feeling of gratitude really helps with your mental health and like helps you sort of step out of a darker place because like practicing gratitude and like feeling until this day, I still feel super lucky that my husband and I haven't gotten COVID and like, we've been super careful.

[00:22:02] I think just feeling very grateful that like we still had jobs during that time. They were still doing the things that we needed to do. So I think the sense of like being grateful and like seeing how the community to your point comes together. Like people in New York started like really helping each other out.

[00:22:20] Like I had friends who were volunteering and like delivering food and I knew a doctor who was an emergency. Medical doctor who like volunteered at three different hospitals. And he like lost like 50 pounds during that time to just like help all the different hospitals. So I think just seeing humanity come together was really great.

[00:22:41] But at the same time, like I actually hosted a lot of mental health sessions on my other podcast and community on rock the boat to just like help other people talk about the situation, because at the end of the day, like, Collect like we're community types of people. And it's really tough when you're absolutely isolated from everything.

[00:23:04] I agree a hundred percent talking about it is so important having organized cause with my friends or to help my mom cause in randomly more often than before. And I should have a question for Carrie because this related to the topic of mental health in older generation Asians, because when my mom was on the lockdown in Australia last year and.

[00:23:32] The only thing I could do was call her because she was isolated. And I never know. I think this is a real problem for a lot of second or third generation or immigrants, children, or children of immigrants, how to talk to their parents about mental health, especially in COVID before we, we can't, we know our parents are tough.

[00:23:52] They're like they have the immigrant mentality. Like I can, let me just take, go through this. It's okay. I didn't need to talk about it. I think with COVID and with a lot of things going on, how do you talk to the. Asian generation about mental health, like from your that's a great question. Cause it's, that's really hard to do because one of the things that we noticed is that there is vocabulary for it, but you know, not in a house, not in a multi-generational household, we don't often talk about mental health at all, or at least my parents didn't.

[00:24:21] And that's the theme that we noticed mental health is not just. In Asian households most of the time. And so one of the few good ways I actually talked to a therapist about a couple of therapists are like, how do you bring it up to someone who's maybe, you know, older than you, maybe your parents, maybe grandparents, about mental health.

[00:24:37] And one important thing is meeting them where they're at. R or trying to find some kind of common ground. So in talking to my mom, for example, cause around on 30 years older than me. And so there's obviously that, that generational gap and with my mom and dad, my dad is he doesn't speak English as fluently as my mother, but my mom speaks English really well.

[00:24:57] So I think I was first able to talk to Michelle about Mattel to my mom because we are as less of a language barrier. And so when I introduced the concept to her or started talking about it, I had already gone through there. We had a few like big family. I don't want to say conflict, but big family changes there.

[00:25:14] So we're sort of forced to talk women's myself, but my mom is really moved by a religion. And one thing that really helped her mental health was going to church finding a Taiwanese. In Michigan, where she was and, and finding community there. And finally being able to release and talk about her feelings and be able to, to have a space where people were there supporting her.

[00:25:33] And I think I'm personally not religious. I haven't explored that side of myself. I'm not very spiritual, but being able to see my mom opened up. And show emotion and do this things through the church. I was like, okay. I think to be able to talk to her about this, I have to find a way to relate on her. End about talking about how she finds support through the community, through this church and religion.

[00:25:56] So we started there also started by talking about physical symptoms, like. A lot of times in households, it's a lot easier to talk about how you're physically feeling than it is to talk about how you're emotionally feeling. So like, if I was having a bit of a anxious day, I'd be like, my heart is like, Beating a little bit faster today or sort of easing into language there.

[00:26:18] And when I talked about, I was like, oh mom, like sometimes I, I was telling my mom about panic attacks that I had, and this is again, more into us, sort of getting to know each other a little bit better and deeper. Cause I was coordinating with her during the pandemic. So she saw a lot of things that she saw a lot of sides of Carrie that she did not see before.

[00:26:33] And she was a little bit scared that I can understand that, but I was trying to explain it to her because I had had. A really large, several panic attacks with whatever. And she just like, didn't know what was going on. And so I explained to her my physical symptoms, I was like, I'll start with heart palpitations.

[00:26:49] It'll start beating really fast. I cannot control it. It's very, very difficult. Then I'll start to cry. Then I'll roll into a ball. You know, all these things. Plain there, her like the physical process of like, this is how it happens. So it didn't seem like a big shock, like of like, it sort of made it easier for her to digest what was happening to my body by explaining the physical things.

[00:27:09] And then that, and I think the other tendency when talking to parents, and this is like the part where it's like so important to have extend empathy, if you can, for your sake and for parents to get that, if that feels safe to you. I think a lot of the things that made it difficult for me to talk on the telephone.

[00:27:26] The idea that our parents would always like, sort of reject things, because it's like a reflection of their performance as a parent, you know, like my mom's like first question or first things. It was like, well, when she was in her defensive side, you'd be like, oh my God, well, I didn't do anything to harm you.

[00:27:38] Or I didn't do X, Y, and Z, or like my father to it. And that is hurtful. But I also have to sort of understand that, like that stems from maybe an insecurity that we. Parent us well enough. They didn't leave their country to come here to raise us just for us to have, you know, mental health issues, things like that.

[00:27:56] And it's like so much stress too, as like friends. Right? Cause they have to worry about so many different things. Like thinking about the way that I grew up. Like my parents were just trying to survive in the states. Like they couldn't care so much about, I guess like my state of mental health or like your fed.

[00:28:14] Yeah, you have some friends and you're getting good grades, so you're good. Yeah. That's basically what they're like. And so they're not as focused, I think on understanding how you feel mentally and something that I sort of really. Helped put mental health into perspective for me was when I spoke to this Harvard psychiatrist, who's been on my other podcast and he said, listen, like mental health is kind of something that you would consider at the upper echelons of Maslow's hierarchy.

[00:28:47] Right? Like. Consider mental health, if like you were starving, because like, it's just not something that you would think about. You would want to meet your basic needs first. And then at that point, when all your basic needs are met, then you can sort of think about mental health. But obviously, you know, if your needs aren't met like down the road, like it does impact your mental health.

[00:29:09] Right? So I like the way that he sort of positioned mental health as. That you would continuously exercise to learn empathy or to practice gratefulness or to help yourself step outside of those like physical sort of emotions and feelings to then be able to sort of dissect and try to understand why they were happening.

[00:29:35] So I really. What you were saying, Carrie, about like the physical aspects of how your mentality can really affect your, your body? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I agree with Lucy, like a parents, didn't have the bandwidth to think about mental health, especially when they're feeding their children in a new country.

[00:29:57] And I think really appreciated that immigrants kind of grit, but I think we just have to face the reality is that we are now obviously relative a well-off situation, our parents as well, we no longer have to worry about where our next meal comes from or where we're living. So obviously the. Pyramid. The next step in the pyramid of Maslow is mental health is something it's kind of like a new, I hate to say trend, but it's definitely a new issue.

[00:30:24] That's coming up for a lot of Asian immigrants in AAPI. Do you mind sharing with us, it'd be more about that, Carrie, about how it's becoming more of a issue? Yeah. I mean, I think that's a really good point. That's something I'm all over. I understand the hierarchical, like understanding of it. Like, of course you need your needs, met your housing, your food, et cetera.

[00:30:43] Like all those basic needs for physical survival. And then like being able to consider mental health is at the top of the pyramid slash privilege. I would even say, you know, to like me in this position where I'm really reflecting on mental health, because I have all the resources, I feel really secure. I can afford a therapist and all these.

[00:31:00] And I can see that coming more into conversation as maybe housing is more accepted, accessible now and, and secure than it was with my parents. But the flip side of that coin for me is I think about my father and my father has been through so much in his life and extreme poverty, extreme loss, like all these famine war, like all of these things that were such a real struggles for him.

[00:31:25] And of course he probably wasn't thinking about his mental. So the Western ice framework that we think about mental health now. And I say westernized, because, you know, I think a lot of psychiatric studies and things come from the U S but something I'm constantly on. Like, there's no way that he wasn't feeling things at that time.

[00:31:42] He wasn't experiencing mental health issues during that time. And the reason why I say that as I see them manifest today, And you know, his insecurities with X, Y, and Z, or the way he handles his emotions, his anger is like rage, his, his trauma, like the way those, the things that happened in processed at that time, I'll be it.

[00:32:01] He wasn't able to address it cause there was no vocabulary and he had to fulfill those basic needs first. But I don't know. I think it's interesting when people think of things as a pyramid, as if there's like a hierarchy of, of being able to process things. All things come together and intersect and ultimately do affect your mental health.

[00:32:22] And then I sort of think about like, oh, what, what is, what is life? What is the human experience without mental health? I think I veered off a question, but your question is now that we're talking about it more, I think we're able to analyze more of like how mental health intersects in all of these different things and how important it is and how mental health care.

[00:32:40] Is a really important connector across class structures, across race and ethnicity. You know, I think that's something that really needs to be addressed from an equitable lens, because it really does affect everyone whether or not they, they, they know it. If that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. Carrie, I think that's a really good point.

[00:33:00] Right? And to your point, like, it kind of intersects with all the things. We have in life. Right. And I doubt there's anybody in the world who doesn't experience any form of anxiety or any form of like hardships as they live through life. And so to me, it feels like it's definitely a tool to really help you understand your emotions and how.

[00:33:24] Sort of digest your emotions so that you can better equip yourself to handle different types of situations. And so if thinking about that, then what sort of resources and or tools do you recommend for the folks who are interested in learning more about mental health or who want to seek out some more professional help for mental.

[00:33:49] Yeah. I mean, first and foremost is if you have the means to find a therapist or find individualized, mental health care, I think that's great. I think that's something that I just want to encourage folks to seek help if they need it, even if you don't think you need it, it's a good thing to check up and see.

[00:34:04] And pop on those evaluation calls. They're usually the first intro calls are usually free. Get a quick evaluation from a therapist if you're struggling, even in, in any sort of way. I think it's so important to de-stigmatize that process and to be more familiar with that process, because it can be very daunting.

[00:34:17] So seeking mental health care is a great easing into seeking adult care is a really good first step, but that being said again, Mental health care, the therapy and like psychiatric, it's not, not necessarily accessible to everyone. It's expensive. It's very hard to find. So things that I would suggest are tuning one, just like tune into.

[00:34:37] Your feelings and your physical wellbeing on a day-to-day basis, if you're not feeling well, if you're feeling a little bit sad, when you wake up, make a note of it, like see how it could do that. Is there something that you can do to make yourself feel better? Is this, maybe you go outside. Like I remember.

[00:34:54] During the pandemic. That's something that I really focused on. I was like, okay, if I am not feeling very well, I will go outside because I need the vitamin D I developed a vitamin D deficiency. I'm sure a lot of people did as well during the pandemic. I was, I started taking supplements that's besides the point, but my body needed to go outside and that helped my mind and my body.

[00:35:12] I needed to move around a little bit. I needed to have lavender next to me all the time, because as soon as I was starting to panic, I needed something to ground me. So I did that. So like, if there are little things you could do to adjust how in tune you are with your own body throughout the day, that's a really good way.

[00:35:28] You know, self care is not just face masks and candles. It's, it's being in tune with yourself. So, oh, giving yourself. Focus and respect and, and love and care is a really important part of mental health care. And then other things would be looking to community resources. I'm such a big proponent of, of our, a big advocate for community care, meaning, you know, we got each other.

[00:35:50] So whether it is finding virtual support sessions for whatever you're going through, there are likely ones that match your experience and your identity online or going to local community. Um, Wellness centers or support things that are there. You know, I see a lot in New York and Los Angeles just online, which is really, really awesome.

[00:36:11] Like in crisis, people come together and you can find those spaces and those spaces are there for you. So I definitely recommend getting in tune with those, those, those three, those three things. Awesome. Fantastic. Carrie, thank you so much for being on the show. So before we wrap, we do always ask our guests for their favorite restaurant recommendation.

[00:36:32] If we were ever to come visit you. So any recommendations in your area. Oh my gosh in my area. Oh, I've so many. There is a very delicious, very comforting dumpling soup place. I'm going to butcher, they I'm in Korea town. So the Korean food is really, really good. It's abbreviated MDK and it is on, oh, I'm going to butcher it.

[00:36:53] But MDK in Korea town, Los Angeles, they do these delicious chicken dumplings. Oh, so good. Like if I'm feeling like any sort of way, I'm like, I need this too. I'll go get it. Pick me up. I love it. I love it. Cool. We'll include the link in the show notes. Cool. Thank you so much, Carrie. Thank you so much. And when I, if I ever do come back to us after the pandemic, I'm definitely going for MTK.

[00:37:17] Thanks for that. Yeah. Yes, please do. Yay. All right. Thanks everybody.