Voices of Youth: Stigma, discrimination and mental health

We speak to Youth in Hong Kong regarding their experience with stigma, discrimination in relation to mental health and what they’re doing to combat these issues.

Interviews conducted with  Khadeeja Khan and Zuhaa Khan, Coolminds Youth Summit Ambassadors, and

Zita Marie Puentespina, a Year 10 student

Interview questions:

  • What are your thoughts on how ethnic minorities view mental health, and how is this topic discussed?
  • What are some barriers to ethnic minorities who want to seek help?
  • How can we best support mental health for everyone despite cultural differences?
  • How can youth support other youth who have been victims of racism or discrimination?

Excerpts from the interview :

Khadeeja: I think ethnic minorities lack awareness when it comes to mental health. For many, if you cannot see it then it is not there. It is easier to visit a doctor for a bruise you have on your arm than visit the doctor for bruised emotions. In the ethnic minority community, mental health is seldom talked about and that only worsens it further.

Zita: A barrier I believe is quite evident is the “communication barrier” as this does have an instant strain in one’s ability to express themselves and be fully understood. Although an EM may try their best to express their need for help, the receiving person may not understand them, despite the effort the EM may be showing. Due to prevalent language, cultural and inter-generational barriers, I believe acts of compassion and love should be shown louder role about speaking up.

Zuhaa: It’s crucial to place significance on an individual’s culture since cultural influence does play a role in shaping one’s life. But we need to just set our differences aside and provide a set of ears to those who come to seek help. The fact is that there’s little to no emphasis on mental health in the community, all that there is is the constant denial of mental health as a health issue. This makes it so hard to speak up.

Check out the booklet to read the full interviews!