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Asian Media Access

Supporting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Cultural Healers through the “Center of Wellness Technology.”

In collaborated with the City of Bloomington and Chinese American Chamber of Commerce – MN, Asian Media Access is planning the Center of Wellness Technology – a Regional Business Incubator utilizing cultural healers as the assets/economic power, under a new economic cluster known as “Wellness Technology” – incorporating food, holistic healing (herb medicine, shamanism, and spiritual healing), armed with healthcare modality (a type of equipment used to acquire structural or functional images of the body, such as radiography, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and visible light) to call for a healthcare and mental health treatment system reform – away from heavy medicine and surgical procedures, and invest capitals/resources into the Wellness Technology through equity lens.

Cultural factors may impede or enhance the effectiveness of diverse models of prevention, intervention, and treatments of mental health issues. Thus, cultural informants, and cultural healing support systems are instrumental in developing culturally/linguistically appropriate prevention/intervention programs that fit the needs and enhance the outcomes for our AAPI cultural communities beyond Western health/mental health systems.

The Center of Wellness Technology will develop creative, transformative, equitable cross-cultural planning/pilot testing along with potential solutions that deeply value and integrate multiple perspectives to better understanding of mental health issues among AAPI communities, along with validating the AAPI cultural healers’ effort.

Since Mental Health is such a taboo topic within AAPIs, we envision a need to:

1) Change the paradigm, to have mental health be seen as a treatable disease, to help AAPIs open about mental and behavioral health discussions;

2) Support with a strong ‘cultural healer’ network to develop new social interventions through a bicultural lens along with research and quality improvement outcomes; and

3) Coordinate with economic feasibility, to advocate for the needs to reimburse ‘cultural healers’ and to build a potential central hub as an incubator-coworking place to enhance the sustainability of cultural healing practices.

 

The overall goal for the Center is to create a framework that can be added to and/or replicated with measurable outcomes for improvements, specific to the assessed needs of AAPI communities suffered from health disparities. We aim to work with region-wide partners to engage and assess from our members about how to address mental health disparities among AAPIs. We anticipate to better support community-based organizations and create a more robust network to integrate health education, programming, and social services to assist our cultural groups to overcome the system barriers for AAPI in seeking mental health support. Therefore, having a culturally and linguistically responsive Mental Health and Cultural Healing Hub to support AAPIs to sail through the pandemic crisis, is the key for our community well-being.

The Center for Wellness Technology aims to:

1) Conduct environmental scanning and stakeholder analysis of needs and resources to develop strategies to address mental health disparities among AAPIs.

Hypothesis: A community-based stakeholder analysis and qualitative feedback will inform the interventions towards mental health disparities among AAPIs.

2) Implement strategies and support ‘cultural healers’ and community leaders in reducing mental health disparities among AAPIs.

Hypothesis: The integration of cultural healers’ and community leaders as social intervention will help in reducing mental health disparities among AAPIs.

We welcome cultural healers to partner with us to make the Center a reality. FMI: amamedia@amamedia.org, and 612-376-7715.

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