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Deepa Bharath's Blog

In ethnic minority communities in particular, mental illness is a serious problem since stigma... more »
posted 03/08/16

Deepa Bharath's Work

In many Asian communities, mental illness remains mired in stigma. A reporter in Orange County, Calif. explores how members of Korean, Vietnamese and Arab communities are affected by this barrier to care.
Zuher Belal put a black pencil on the rectangular piece of paper stretched out on a table. The 21-year-old native of Syria drew a Muslim man with arms outstretched in prayer. Then, he drew an airplane dropping a bomb.
“The word we use for mental illness in Vietnamese is ‘crazy,’” Lanie Tran said. “If you’re a Buddhist, you believe you or your family members did something wrong in a previous birth. If you’re Catholic, you believe God is punishing you for something you did that was mean or wrong.”