Ethnicity and Health in America Series

This year, the series is raising awareness about the physiological and psychological impact of stress as it relates to health.

The Ethnicity and Health in America Series is designed to raise public awareness concerning the varied health concerns of America’s people of color, while highlighting the impact of psychology and psychological factors on those health concerns. We work closely with APA’s organization-wide Health Disparity Initiative. This initiative focuses on the health conditions of stress, obesity and substance abuse/addiction, which were selected because of their prevalence and/or impact on health within health disparity population groups (e.g., people of color), and their high association with many other chronic diseases. This year, during four of the national heritage months dedicated to ethnic minority Americans (i.e., Black History Month in February, Asian American/Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, National Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month in September and National American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month in November); OEMA examines the manifestation of stress among each group during their respective month. A website is dedicated to providing information and educational forums/workshops are sponsored in the community to educate the public regarding the significance of psychology to health.

In honor of Asian-American/Pacific Islander Month and National Mental Health Month, the Ethnicity and Health in America Series is raising awareness about family demands and expectations as it relates to stress among Asian and Asian American populations. In partnership with the Washington, D.C. Mayor’s Office on Asian-American/Pacific Islander Affairs, the Montgomery County Asian-American and Pacific Islander Health Initiative, and faculty members from nearby institutions, OMEA will sponsor a film screening and interactive forum entitled Great Expectations: Exploring family dynamics and stress among Asian and Asian American populations. This activity will be held at AARP Headquarters, Brickfield Center, 601 E Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20049 on Thursday May 9, 2013, from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

The activity will begin with a film screening of CAN: What does it take to heal from mental illness, a documentary film by Pearl J. Parks. After the film screening, panelist will guide the open discussion on sources of stress, cultural/racial factors associated with those stressors as it impacts Asian American and Pacific Islander families, and access resources to cope with the burden of stress. The panelist and participants will include Derek Iwamoto, PhD, research assistant professor at University of Maryland-College Park; Charissa S.L. Cheah, PhD, associate professor of psychology at University of Maryland-Baltimore County; Matthew Miller, PhD, assistant professor of counseling at University of Maryland-College Park; and Myron Dean Quon, Esq., national director of National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse.

If you are interested in working on the Ethnicity and Health in American Series with OEMA, please contact the office by email.