Dear Valued Community Members:
It is with much excitement, appreciation and gratitude that we present this population report to the community on behalf of the API-SPW. Our 55 project members, steering committee members, consultants, and staff have put in tremendous amount of hours and work for the past two and half years. This report is the culmination of this effort that documents the disparities experienced in the community. It also offers recommendations to reduce these disparities.
CRDP is funded from the Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) portion of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). It was administered by the Office of Multicultural Services (OMS) of the California Department of Mental Health since 2010 and will be administered by Office of Health Equality (OHE) of the California Department of Public Health (DPH). MHSA is designed with the unserved, under-served, and inappropriately served in mind. CRDP is one of the best examples illustrating this spirit. CRDP is one of a kind and is the largest investment in the nation to look into diverse community perspectives on mental health disparities. This is a ground-breaking project and we feel fortunate to be part of this project. We have received much interest from different parts of California, and even Washington, DC, during the development of this project. People are interested in learning from our California experience.
In order to maintain the community perspective, we have selected the grassroots approach in organizing the AANHPI (Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander) communities from five regions in California. We have used a collaborative and strengths-based philosophy to gather as much data from as many diverse sectors and representation as possible. This report is an authentic documentation of this journey and has been vetted through its members and a public review process. With the limited resources allotted, we were able to hold 30 regional meetings, 5 statewide meetings, 12 Steering Committee meetings, 23 focus groups, 8 community forums, and a statewide conference to gather information, formulate our recommendations, and share our findings.
At the dawn of the nation moving towards healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we trust this report will offer helpful insights to improve our current mental health system and services. As gaining better access, providing quality services, and eventually lowering the cost in healthcare are the three pivotal principles in ACA, it will be critical to reference the key points of this report to better serve the AANHPI communities. We know the community holds a lot of experience and wisdom in working with AANHPIs. It is our hope that we will be able to continue the work via collaborating with local, regional, and statewide government entities to address and reduce the mental health disparities in the community. By working together, we have better chance of reducing disparities.
C. Rocco Cheng, Ph.D., Pacific Clinics
CRDP API-SPW Project Director