There has been so much stigma behind the word “mental illness” in the Korean community forever. The national attitude concerning mental illness is nonchalant, viewing it as a taboo that should not be openly discussed. While Koreans are one of the most advanced scholars in technology and health care field in the 21st century, they routinely ignore the dire symptoms of mental illness. Its shunning culture towards the discussion of mental illness has led Korea to have far and away the highest suicide rate among the 35 wealthy Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, according to OZY’s article on South Korea’s mental health. “Almost 40 Koreans fall victim to suicide every day, almost 50 percent higher than the second-ranked OECD country, Hungary,”The same applies to Korean Americans living here. Growing up under Korean family, the youth confront with cultural and generational clashes, religious intolerances, child abuse, extreme academic stress, and even racism from the community.
Anxiety and sadness are natural parts of someones life;however, when it reaches a certain point, it is crucial to seek out for help. What we must all know is that just as how there is no shame in going to the hospital when you break your leg, there must be absolutely nothing wrong with going to the hospital to seek mental therapy. Mental health is the same as your physical health. Indeed, it is more important. Everyone goes through struggles. Family problems, relationship conflicts, family management, grief and loss, anxiety, depression, and child abuse reports are just some of the many reasons to get help for. Intense emotions are so hard to deal with so reaching out to a mental health specialist is a truly beneficial option. No one should go through it alone. You should get the help that you truly deserve. Discovering the proper coping mechanisms that fit each one of the patients’ needs is so paramount in self care.
Since 1975, KYCC has been providing low cost to free mental health services to youth in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Mental health services – “therapy” or “counseling” – is the process of personal insight and growth that occurs through the therapeutic relationship. Treatment occurs between a trained mental health professional and a client. Outpatient mental health services occur in the community and may include an array of services such as psychotherapy, case management, medication support services, and behavior rehabilitation.
Having a good foundational support group helps relieve the pains of life. To eligible to receive service at KYCC, one should be a resident of Los Angeles, with insurance, and between the ages of 0 to 25. A brief 15-20 minute eligibility check with a clinical counselor will direct the patient with referrals according to their needs.
KYCC offers a broad range of services. Starting with Prevention & Early Intervention Services to minimize mental health system involvement, KYCC has short term intensive outpatient visits, field capable clinical services, full service partnerships, and Korean integrated service management models. Its firm Department of Child and Family Services also provides family preservation programs to secure a safe, friendly family nurturing environment. It emphasizes parental resilience, knowledge of parenting and child development, social and emotional competence of children, social connections and concrete support in times of need as crucial factors of building a healthy family.
As a part of the Korean American community, we should count each other accountable for maintaining our mental health as well as reaching out for help when needed. Spreading awareness about the availability of mental health organizations in the heart of Koreatown is the first step we must take in eradicating the stigma behind mental illness.
It’s okay to reach out for help! To discover more information about KYCC’s mental health program, visit their official website at https://www.kyccla.org/services/clinical-services/.
Goeun Lee, Grade 10
Larchmont Charter School