Addressing the mental health needs of affected communities after the shooting

IThe past few days have been overwhelming as more and more details have emerged about the Monterey Park shooting. We’re starting to learn the names of the victims and the lives they lived, mostly in their 60s and 70s. We know that the 11th victim died yesterday at LAC+USC Medical Center. And now we have some additional information on who the shooter was.

Mental Health Support for the Monterey Park Community

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In the wake of this event, my colleague Robert Garova has been following how a coalition is attempting to provide mental health resources for elders in the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. The AAPI Equity Alliance group is trying to figure out how they can bridge the gap when it comes to services for Asian and Asian American seniors, who may be reluctant or unsure about seeking help.

Robert talks with Myron Kwan, CEO of Pacific Asian Counseling Services and Board Member of AAPI Equity Alliance.

“We worry so much about serving our Asian seniors because they don’t speak English well. And even those who do speak English well don’t want to go to mainstream services because they don’t understand the culture,” Kwon said.

I spoke with Daniel Echinose, a research director at OC Action, an Orange County-based organization that promotes civic engagement among AAPIs and Latino communities. She has conducted demographic research on Asian and Asian American communities in the US and says there is still significant stigma attached to the issue of mental health.

“An event like this can serve to raise the visibility of those issues in our communities and hopefully encourage some conversation,” Ichinose said. “I think there has been some progress in terms of the community being open to discussing these types of issues, but you know, we still have a long way to go.”

For more information, read Robert’s profile and view our resources listed on the website.

Stay happy and healthy guys as always, There’s even more news below—just keep reading.

more news

(after you stop hitting snooze)

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  • this winter, Orange County has been without emergency shelter to the homeless for the first time in many years. That could change with a vote by the board of supervisors on Tuesday.
  • Another mass shooting occurred in a farming area north of California on Monday. a suspect was taken into custody, ,AP,
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  • *At LAist we will always bring you news independently, but occasionally we include links to other publications that may be behind paywalls. thanks for understanding!

wait… one more thing

The Star Dance Studio: ‘Center of the Happiness’

A couple who frequent Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park celebrate the Lunar New Year by dancing at a Burbank restaurant

Before Saturday night’s shooting, Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park was a place of joy, a place where older immigrants and longtime community members gathered together and danced their hearts out while performing tango or samba.

So, for my must-read selection of the week, I want to focus on those. Grandparents, aunts and uncles. Senior citizens found happiness with the dance. Those who use ballroom dancing as an attempt to stay young and free.

My colleague Mariana Dell spent Sunday at a Burbank restaurant where several of Star Dance’s social dancers gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year. There, husband and wife, Rick and Perrin Price, hung out among friends in LA’s Thai community. He told Mariana that the couple hadn’t gone to the Star Dance since New Year’s Eve, but it was a place they used to go often.

Perrin Price is devastated about the shooting that has so far claimed 11 lives, but is determined not to let the incident get her down. “It hurts my feelings that this happened to that group of people,” Price said. “But no matter what, it won’t stop us from dancing. I mean, it’s just our life.

Social organizer and dancer Pashri Silpi said Star Dance Studio served as an important space for that community. If it closes, Silpe said, “It’s going to hurt society, because we use it as a center of happiness.”

Read the rest of Mariana’s story here.

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