Asian American Mental Health Issues (a case study) By Group Mosaic Rebecca He Catherine Wang April Kwan Lily Zhang Kevin Cho
-what happened -what are the likely causes -what can we do
What had happened? On April 16, 2007, gunman Seung-Hui Cho, an Asian American, shot dead 32 people and injured 25 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. Afterwards this worldwide known incident rose one particular question. Why did Seung-Hui Cho do it? Hunter, Melanie. "Virginia Tech Incident Called Worst Mass Shooting in US History. " The Nation . 16 Apr. 2007. CNSNEWS.COM. 20 Mar. 2008 <http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200704/NAT20070416c.html>.
Why? Reasons that could have provoked Seung-Hui Cho into shooting:
Victim of Bullying Seung-Hui Cho was often bullied due to the fact that his English was not really good.
2) Depressed A physician who checked Seung-Hui noted that he was depressed, which might have had an effect on the killing.
3) Mutism (the inability to speak) Seung-Hui Cho was diagnosed with mutism. He was “emotionally disturbed” according to the special education program in his high school. 4) Loneliness Seung-Hui Cho was so lonely that his reputation was “ the question mark ” . He had no friends and always kept to himself. Hunter, Melanie. "Virginia Tech Incident Called Worst Mass Shooting in US History. " The Nation . 16 Apr. 2007. CNSNEWS.COM. 20 Mar. 2008 <http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200704/NAT20070416c.html>.
Pressure Felt by Asian American Students
- Asian American students are often put under pressure that could ultimately hurt them
- For example:
- Parents are always pushing them to do better and instead of encouraging them, putting them down for not doing better
- Parents compare their kids to others
- Peers bully them or insist on stereotypes
- Feeling the need to conform to stereotypes and the need to do well in everything they do
Other Interesting Facts …
-Asian women ages 15-24 have the highest suicide rate of women mainly due to pressure
-Asian Americans are less likely to seek help for their emotional or mental health problems than whites
-Kids at school put peer pressure on Asian American kids because of prejudice which causes problems with mental health.
-Second generation Asian Americans have pressure on them from parents wanting to give them a head start which creates conflict between the child and the parent. That means there will be mental health problems.
What could teachers do to prevent this from happening?
-Talk to students like Cho and listen to their problems
-Give hope to the student to lighten his/her spirit
-Develop a bond and pay attention to each student
-Take time to understand pressure felt by students with different ethnic backgrounds
-School should have a more effective counseling and support system
-For example, involve the students of the same ethnic group to help and support counseling
What can parents do?
-Parents should show love openly and more often, which will set a good example for kids to show their love.
-Be confident, open, and optimistic even though they might have struggled in their own lives
-Be a good communicator, know what to say, what not to say, and how to say
-Parents should not compare their children to others
What can students do?
- Use own culture to provide help for others, such as language or cultural understanding
- Cooperate with teachers to support those in need
- Encourage others to join AAYS
What can you do?
- Some ways to ease the pressure:
- Have confidence in yourself and not letting other people put you down—being able to say no when people try to make you do things you do not want to do
- Make friends with people from other ethnic groups. The closer you are to other groups, the better they understand you.
- Establish the fact that several stereotypes are NOT true
In this presentation, we:
- described Seung-Hui Cho’s Virginia Tech case
- explained reasons that could have provoked the shooting
- analyzed the pressure on Asian American students
-made suggestions on what can be done by teachers, parents , students, and you
It’s not easy to be an Asian American. But AAYS provides an opportunity for all of us to think, discuss, plan, and act to improve the well being of the new generation of Asian Americans.
In this generation, Asian Americans are pushed to excel in everything they do. This often causes mental problems which can eventually result in inflicting physical and emotional pain on themselves. These mental problems are often a result of the pressures they face in the society from parents and peers. These pressures can be eased if both the person having these problems are willing to get help, and parents and peers are willing to accept them. In Seung-Hui Cho's case, he did not get help when he needed it even though he a supporting family and it resulted in him being unable to convey his thoughts in any way but violence. Parents especially need to be sure to express their love for their children because in the end, no matter what, children still think highly of their parents and what they think. As leaders, we should try to reach out to these kind of children and parents to help them understand each other and themselves better. The mental health of several Asian Americans is damaged by the doing of others and the lack of confidence in themselves.