Celebrated annually during the month of May, Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) Heritage Month is a commemorative month in the United States that recognizes and celebrates the diverse cultures, contributions, and histories of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi communities.
The term “APIDA” is an inclusive acronym that represents a broad range of ethnic backgrounds and experiences. It encompasses individuals and communities with origins in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Indian subcontinent.
How is APIDA Heritage Month Celebrated?
APIDA Heritage Month provides an opportunity to highlight the achievements, traditions, and challenges faced by APIDA communities throughout history. It aims to promote awareness, cultural understanding, and appreciation for the rich heritage and experiences of APIDA individuals.
During this month, various events and activities are organized nationwide, such as cultural festivals, art exhibitions, panel discussions, film screenings, and performances. These events showcase the diverse cultures, traditions, and contributions of APIDA communities to American society. They also serve as platforms to address social issues, advocate for equality, and raise awareness about the unique challenges faced by APIDA individuals.
For more information about this year’s events, you can visit the Asian Pacific Heritage website.
Asian American Psychiatrists: Trailblazers, Past, Present, and Future
This year, the American Psychiatric Association hosted an exhibit entitled “Asian American Psychiatrists: Trailblazers, Past, Present, and Future“. The exhibit focuses on the contributions and achievements of Asian American psychiatrists throughout history. It highlights the trailblazers’ pioneering work, their impact on the field of psychiatry, and their efforts to improve mental health care for Asian American communities. Dr. Krysti Lan Chi Vo is part of the exhibit this year.
Dr. Krysti Lan Chi Vo holds the position of Assembly Representative for the Asian American Caucus. And in response to the increase in anti-Asian hate incidents, she took the initiative to write advocacy pieces aimed at raising awareness and supporting the promotion of federal legislation.
Dr. Vo’s other contributions include:
Created Free Support Groups for APIDA Mental Health Practitioners
Started in early 2021, a series of free support groups were established for APIDA mental health practitioners. These support groups were organized in collaboration with other professionals, with two distinct groups catered to: Mental Health Practitioners and General Professionals.
As a gesture of support, each attendee was encouraged to make a voluntary donation of $10 to the Asian Mental Health Collective (AMHC), a non-profit organization. These support groups aimed to provide a safe space for APIDA mental health practitioners and professionals from diverse backgrounds to come together, share experiences, and foster collaboration in the pursuit of promoting mental well-being within the APIDA community.
Organized Free Support Groups for APIDA Community
Each week, a total of four sessions were conducted, providing a comprehensive program over a duration of two years. With an estimated average of 10 attendees per session, these support groups aimed to create a supportive environment for participants.
Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month Virtual Celebration (2021)
The specific event within this celebration was called “Troubleshooting the Top 5 AAPI Issues: A Live Q&A with AAPI Mental Health Experts.” The event was open to all members of the AAPI community, providing an inclusive platform for discussion and support.
A total of 36 individuals registered for the event, with 22 attendees actively participating. The event aimed to address key issues impacting the AAPI community and offer insights from mental health experts, fostering dialogue and understanding during AAPI Heritage Month.
Nhi-Ha Trinh, MD, MPH
Deputy Representative for Asian American Caucus; Director, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Psychiatry Center for Diversity, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director, Hinton Society, Harvard Medical School.
Nelson Ho, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social worker with a generalist approach to helping clients manage their anxiety, depression, and clutter issues. with over 7 years of experience
Sue Tham, DPH, LCSW
Doctor of Behavioral Health, with 17 years of experience in Psychotherapy. Deputy Associate Director of Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Registered Trainer in the Auricular Acupuncture / NADA protocol. Founder of ACUwellness Cafe, a free Acudetox clinic. Researcher and Speaker.
Friends and co-founders of the Asian Mental Health Collective (AMHC)
AMHC aspires to make mental health easily available, approachable, and accessible to Asian communities worldwide.
Offered Free Support Groups for Asian American Community
As a response to the alarming rise in Anti-Asian Hate, Dr. Vo took the initiative to offer free support groups for the Asian American community. Recognizing the need for a safe and supportive space during these challenging times, these support groups were created to provide a platform for individuals to share their experiences and seek solace.
In addition to organizing these support groups, Dr. Vo has actively participated in statewide and nationwide presentations aimed at raising awareness and combating Anti-Asian Hate. One notable event was the Philly Rally for Solidarity, where she had the opportunity to share my insights and experiences, garnering coverage on Philly news outlets.
For more updates about Dr. Krysti Lan Chi Vo, please make sure that you subscribe to our newsletter. If you’d like for Dr. Vo to organize another support group, please don’t hesitate to send us a message.