“媽媽,如果我早點發病, 醫生就會發現爸爸也患有躁鬱症, 那爸爸就不會死了!” 六年前,當時正入院接受治療女兒說的話一直在我耳邊縈繞 。
在美國,每五位成年人當中就有一人罹患精神疾病,我常問自己:人們為什麼不能像談論癌症,心臟病一樣地討論精神病呢? 2013年的數據顯示,全美共有4500萬人遭受各類精神疾病的折磨。但與此同時,社會上對精神疾病的種種偏見依然存在。可幸的是, 經過有效地治療, 精神疾病是可以康復的,但是大家總是把精神疾病與其它的疾病區別對待。亞裔社區精神疾病的污名化尤其嚴重,研究結果表明,污名化是阻礙大家去尋求幫助和持續治療的最大絆腳石！譬如在阿拉米達郡,亞裔人口占29%,但求助於公共精神衛生系統的亞裔只佔病人的2%。
難道亞裔比起別的族群有15倍的精神健康? 當然不是！那是因為太多正在精神疾病中苦苦掙扎的亞裔或華裔還在沉默地承受折磨, 就像我那因病去世的丈；而不是像我女兒一樣勇敢地去尋求幫助, 爭取到了寶貴的治療時間。
是的,今天我們必須衝破歧視, 勇敢地說出來, 那才是邁向健康第一步。
A Letter From Elaine Peng, President, Mental Health Association for Chinese Communities
“Mom, if I had gotten sick earlier, the doctor would have found out that Dad was bipolar disorder too, then Dad would not have to die!” The words of my daughter, who was hospitalized for bipolar disorder 6 years ago, had been ringing in my mind all these years.
One in five adults in the United States has a mental illness, and I often ask myself: Why can’t people talk about mental illness like they talk about cancer or heart disease?
Data from 2013 show 45 million people across the US are suffering from various mental illnesses. At the same time, however, social prejudices against mental illness persist. Fortunately, mental illness can be treated effectively, but people always tend to treat mental illness differently from other diseases. The stigma of mental illness is particularly acute in Asian communities, where research has shown that stigma is the single biggest obstacle to seeking help and sustained treatment!
In Alameda County, for example, Asians make up 29 per cent of the population, but in the public mental health system there are only 2% Asians.
Does that mean Asians are 15 times are healthier mentally than other ethnicities? Of course not！ It is because too many Asians or Chinese-Americans who are struggling with mental illness are not seeking help, just like my husband who died due to mental illness, rather than courageously asking for help, like my daughter who received treatment in time.
It is my sincere hope that one day; people will be as familiar with the symptoms and onset of mental diseases as with stomach disease or flu. More importantly, when they see the symptoms, they will seek the help from professionals, just like they have stomach disease or flu.
Yes, today we must break the stigma of mental illness and speak out!
Welcome to the first Chinese American Mental Health Day. Your participation is of great significance to us! I offer my sincere thanks to you.
Hope you have a great time!
時間：2019年6月1日星期六，上午9:30 - 下午3:00
Time: Saturday, June 1st, 2019, from 9:30 am – 3:00 pm.
Venue: The Multipurpose Room,New University Union (New UU)
East Bay Campus of California State University
25800 W Loop Rd, Hayward, CA 94542 USA
語言：普通話 Language: Mandarin Chinese
活動議程和參展單位Agenda and Exhibitors：
Ginger Sesame Slaw
Napa Cabbage, Purple Cabbage, Shredded Carrots, Cilantro, Crispy Wonton and Slivered Almonds
General Tso's Chicken
Fried chicken, savory General Tso Sauce, Broccoli, and Red Bell Pepper
Spicy Eggplant & Tofu
Crispy Tofu and Eggplant in a Garlic ginger Soy Sauce
Steam White Rice
Steam Brown Rice
Vegetarian Egg Rolls
Beverages: Hot Tea, Cold Water, Lemonade（Coffee service before 10:00 am.)
If you have food allergies, please bring your own lunch.Thank you.
Elaine Peng 彭一玲 敬上