Asian American Resource Center expands metro Atlanta mental health programs

Signs and flowers in front of the Gold Spa on Piedmont Avenue on Wednesday March 24, 2021 in Atlanta. The Gold Spa and Aromatherapy Spa 
are located in the 1900 block of Piedmont Road NE in Atlanta, and were two of the three spas eight people were killed at on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. The shootings occurred roughly 30 miles apart at three massage parlors in Cherokee and Fulton counties. 21-year-old Robert Aaron Young from Woodstock was later captured about 150 miles south of Atlanta and is the suspect in three metro Atlanta massage parlor shootings that left eight people dead. Six of the eight victims were Asian women.
(John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)
Caption
Signs and flowers in front of the Gold Spa on Piedmont Avenue on Wednesday March 24, 2021 in Atlanta. The Gold Spa and Aromatherapy Spa are located in the 1900 block of Piedmont Road NE in Atlanta, and were two of the three spas eight people were killed at on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. The shootings occurred roughly 30 miles apart at three massage parlors in Cherokee and Fulton counties. 21-year-old Robert Aaron Young from Woodstock was later captured about 150 miles south of Atlanta and is the suspect in three metro Atlanta massage parlor shootings that left eight people dead. Six of the eight victims were Asian women. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

Additional services funded by Mastercard donation

A steady stream of calls has been coming into the Asian American Resource Center over the past year from people seeking mental health services.

“People are coming here saying they want to talk to a professional to ease their feelings,” said Xavier Kim, the managing director of the AARC.

Unemployment, a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes and the pandemic have had negative mental health impacts, according to Kim. As a way to help, the AARC has launched its Mental Health Family Education Program, thanks to a $50,000 donation from the Mastercard Impact Fund.

“Through these group seminars we will increase mental health awareness,” Kim said. “And those who attend, they will get connected with a counselor so that there will be ongoing support.”

The next seminar is slated to take place Wednesday.

The AARC says its purpose is to help single-parent families, those experiencing homelessness and the families of the recent Atlanta spa shootings gain access to training and counseling programs.

Being aware of the stigma attached to mental health services, Kim said his organization works to be culturally sensitive during their sessions. They recently held a workshop in Korean, during which a healthy mindset, compassion and courage were all emphasized.

“We talked a lot about mindset, and then the presenter went through many examples using the five senses,” Kim said. “People reacted in a very positive way.”

Paradise Afshar is a Report for America corps member covering metro Atlanta’s immigrant communities.

Mental health seminar

The AARC’s next seminar will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday June 9, at Cafe Rothem, 3585 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. #128, and will be conducted in English. Seating is limited, and all attendees are asked to RSVP before the event by calling the AARC at 770-270-0663.