Mighty Blog

Asian-American youth struggling with COVID-19 and racism

The COVID-19 outbreak has been a challenging time for the nation and the rest of the world. Fears surrounding COVID-19 have led to racist thoughts and attacks on Asian-Americans.

TIME reported, “Since mid-March, STOP AAPI HATE, an incident-reporting center founded by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, has received more than 1,800 reports of pandemic-fueled harassment or violence in 45 states and Washington, D.C.”

How is COVID-19 affecting Asian-American youth?

Previous diseases have been blamed on certain groups of people for their ethnicity. Today, many are blaming COVID-19 on Asian-Americans—some are even calling it the “Chinese virus.”

From name-calling to hostility and even refusal of services have all been reported by Asian-Americans in Minnesota. Children can see and even experience these acts of racism because of their ethnicity.

Asian father and son having a conversation

Back to school and bullying.

Depending on the county you live in, your child may be heading back to school in-person soon. This is typically an exciting time of year but, with COVID-19, many Asian-American families are facing racism and may be fearful of their children going back to school.

Our message to Asian-American youth.

How can parents help and talk to their kids about racism?

  • Talk about race, and talk early and often.
  • Read and discuss books about racism – here are 27 books to start with from Today’s Parent, a Canadian parenting source.
  • Share your own feelings. During times of tragedy, kids look to their parents and watch how they react and listen to what they say.
  • Ask your kids what they hear around them – ask what they know. Once you ask, parents can then correct any misconceptions and ensure their kids are getting the full picture.
  • Join Reach out and Read’s virtual conversation: The Next Page: Diversity in Children’s Literature on August 18, 2002 at 12 p.m.

How does racism affect mental health?

Asian-American youth may feel an added stress because they may have worries of racism and bullying. Because of this stress and possible bullying, it can bring up feelings of anxiety, stress and depression.

Where can I find mental health help for my child?

Children’s Minnesota is here to help you and your child or teen! We offer many resources including: Outpatient therapy, medication management and immediate help through a phone call or drop-in services. In addition, all services can be accessed remotely via virtual care.

Access Children’s Minnesota’s resources here: Behavioral Health Support Hub

Can I help my adult child get mental health help?

A great place for young adults to start looking for help is to get a trusted referral through their primary care provider. If time or finances are an issue, Walk-In Counseling Center offers free walk-in therapy services to adults.

Alexandra Rothstein