WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) introduced a resolution marking May 10, 2023 as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Mental Health Day. The resolution recognizes the importance of mental health to the well-being of AANHPI families and communities and acknowledges the importance of raising awareness around mental health care.
“Cultural, economic, language, and societal barriers prevent too many members of the AANHPI community in Hawaii and across the country from accessing mental health care,” said Senator Hirono. “This inequity is particularly devastating for marginalized members of our communities—such as youth and veterans. As we recognize AANHPI Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, I am glad to introduce this resolution and reaffirm my commitment to invest in mental health resources, combat the stigma surrounding mental health, and break down barriers that prevent people from receiving the care they need and deserve.”
Senator Hirono’s resolution also encourages health agencies to adopt policies to improve utilization of mental health services for the AANHPI community, as well as other marginalized communities. Suicide is the top cause of death for AANHPI youth, ages 10 to 24-years old, and in Hawaii, the rate of suicide for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders is three times the national average. The month of May marks both AANHPI Heritage Month and National Mental Health Awareness Month.
In addition to Senator Hirono, the resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
The full text of the resolution is available here.
Senator Hirono has long advocated on behalf of AANHPI communities in Hawaii, the U.S., and Pacific Island nations and territories. Last May, she introduced a bill to promote the teaching of Asian Pacific American history for high school students and teachers who enroll in the U.S. Department of Education’s American History and Civics Academies programs. Senator Hirono also brought legislation to the Senator floor, that was signed into law by President Biden, establishing a commission to study the creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture.