Mental health should be met with care – not brutal violence

Earlier this month, Koreatown resident Yong Yang was fatally shot by police after suffering from a severe mental health crisis. AAPI Equity Alliance is devastated and outraged by this inhumane response and we send our deepest condolences to Yang’s family as they speak out against this injustice.

Despite the systemic barriers and cultural stigma surrounding mental health in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, mental health remains a high priority and our calls for help should be met with care and empathy – not brutal violence. Koreatown member organizations are on the grounds now supporting the family’s ongoing demands for answers and justice for Yang, who had just celebrated his 40th birthday.

This Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, we are reminded of the critical importance for in-language, culturally responsive mental health care. That is what Yang, and many others who sought help, needed and deserved.

At AAPI Equity Alliance, we are committed to building capacity for mental health organizations and cultivating safe spaces for community members geared towards radical healing. We spoke with some of our member organizations, who shared stories of transformation and hope in light of the tragedy. Because only through collective healing can we truly make meaningful progress.