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Health Integration - Tri County Mental Health Connection for Asians
AHSC provides a series of public health education projects and activities (i.e. health education workshops), and psychosocial support programs, which include Health and Wellness Groups, Asian Wellness Connection, Chronic Disease Link, Living Well Training, Powerful Tool for Caregiving, Women Health, Tri County Mental Health Connection for Asians, and Healthy Kids.
Tri County Mental Health Connection for Asians
Due to barriers of culture, language, religion, and lack of health insurance Asiansface persistent disparities in health care. Asians who experience difficulty in accessing timely and needed health care, are likely to lack a regular place of care, and are not likely to use mental health services;especially if outreach to this population is conducted without sensitivity to cultural, religious, and linguistic differences. Low penetration rates in mental health services in the tri-county areacompelled AHSC to address this issue. AHSC also saw the importance of a formal linkage between culturally-specific mental health services, community health clinics, and, in Oregon, the new Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs). AHSC receivedfunding from United Way to improve mental health care among Asians in the tri county area and to prepare capacity to connect with the emerging CCOs.
The Tri County Mental Health Connection for Asians project improves mental health education and awareness for Asian communities in the tri-county area.The program trains bilingual community-health outreach workers, who understand Asian cultures, to assist our mental health team conduct outreach to this underserved population. Outreach workers prepare educational material, conduct community workshops, and interact with community health clinics and hospitals – engaging people in a culturally and linguistically appropriate approach. Seamless intake and enrollment processes enablepotential clients to gain easy access to our mental health program.
The Tri County Mental Health Connection for Asians project moves beyond addressing chronic illness management and prevention, it addresses the challenge of the dark side of the Asian community - low utilization of mental health services and frequent visits to emergency rooms for psychosomatic complaints.