Workplace Mental Health for Asian American Professionals

Featuring Insights from Employees at Adobe, Dell, Square, and UC Berkeley

Bernie Wong | Senior Associate, Mind Share Partners


May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Hear from Asian American professionals about the unique challenges they face around workplace mental health. This article is also published on Mind Share Partners' "Mental Health at Work" section on Thrive Global.

May is both Mental Health Awareness Month and Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Heritage month. At Mind Share Partners, we have found that the conversations around workplace mental health and diversity & inclusion (D&I) are increasingly inseparable. Not only are individuals managing mental health conditions a vulnerable and marginalized community, but different demographic groups (such as ethnic groups and the LGBTQ+ community) have unique experiences and challenges around the issue as well.

In this article, we wanted to highlight this intersection and discuss the unique challenges that Asian American professionals face when it comes to workplace mental health. The Asian and Pacific Islander workforce has grown 20 times larger in the last 60 years. While representation has grown dramatically, this group still faces unique workforce challenges. They are the least likely to be promoted from individual contributor roles into management, and one in four report race-based discrimination when applying for jobs.

These challenges have been linked to a variety of negative mental health outcomes including depression and anxiety as well as job-related outcomes like job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover. However, Asian Americans face unique obstacles to their mental health. While they have the lowest recorded rate of diagnosed mental health conditions of any racial group, the language, culture, and stigma-related barriers to treatment and talking about mental health within this community are well-documented. As a result, Asian Americans are three times less likely to seek mental health services compared to white Americans as a result.

This month, I reached out to several Asian American professionals to hear their take on mental health at work. In this article, we’ll hear from:

  • Anvita Jain, HR Business Partner | Dell

  • Krystal Mak, Technical Project Manager & Reporting Analyst, Reconciliation Operations | Square

  • Jessica Ngo, People Analyst | Adobe

  • Gordon Shen, Research Fellow | UC Berkeley

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