Mental Health Resources for Asians in Canada

People at a protest holding signs that read "Stop Asian hate" and "Protect Asian lives."
Photo credit: provided from project website, Cultivating Growth and Solidarity

COVID-19 and Mental Health Resources for Asians in Canada

Team members

  • Dr. Fred Chou
  • Prof. Jin-Sun Yoon
  • Dr. Catherine Costigan
  • Dr. Nancy Clark
  • Macayla Yan
  • Qwisun Yoon-Potkins

About this project

The goal of this project was to create accessible and useful mental health resources for Asian communities in Canada amid the rise in anti-Asian racism spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research team created the zine Cultivating Growth and Solidarity to communicate their findings to Asian communities and to counsellors in the field.

What is a zine?

A zine is a self-published work, created to be engaging and interactive. Zines have a long history of being deeply political, embedded in lived experience and public discourse.

What led to this project?

The link between racism and mental distress is well-established in academic literature. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic anti-Asian hate crimes rose around the world. In Vancouver, there was a 717% increase in hate crimes and incidents reported to the Vancouver Police Department.

The project was created in response to the international spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 and the researchers’ personal experiences with racism.

What did the researchers do?

The researchers situated their work on anti-Asian racism in the context of settler colonialism and relationship to land. Part of the work of the project is to give Asian communities the tools and space to situate themselves in the complex intersections of their identity, and help them to understand their experience in a wider social context.

Theoretical frameworks are woven throughout the project, including critical pedagogy, anti-oppressive and intersectional perspectives, advocacy in counselling, relationality, and co-construction.

Project outcomes

To date, the zine created by the research team has over 1700 downloads. The team has received funding to extend their work and begin a support group for Asians in Canada that have experienced racism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Downloadable resource

Cultivating Growth and Solidarity Zine

To learn more about this research project, visit the team’s website.