Sumary of On 9/11, Chinatown residents watched the towers fall. Some are still recovering.:
- But in the months and years that followed 9/11, few outside the area focused on the physical or mental health of this densely populated neighborhood.
- “There was a sense that Chinatown was ignored after 9/11,” said Daniel Huang, clinical director for behavioral health at Hamilton-Madison House, an Asian-focused outpatient mental health clinic in lower Manhattan.
- RelatedIn the aftermath of 9/11, many of the mental health resources designated for World Trade Center survivors were either unavailable to, or underutilized by, the people of Chinatown.
- In November 2001, a Federal Emergency Management Agency-supported program launched a massive public education campaign for free crisis counseling in New York.
- But none of the TV, radio or subway s used targeted the Asian community in Chinatown, according to the Mental Health Association of New York City, now known as Vibrant Emotional Health.
- But of the more than 9,000 individuals enrolled in the program between 2002-2004, only 4.6 percent identified as Asian, according to Vibrant Emotional Health.
- “We know from so many PTSD studies the closer you were to ground zero, the more at risk you are for developing long-term mental health problems,” said Yuval Neria, the director of trauma and PTSD at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
- Asian Americans are the racial group least likely to reach out for mental health help, according to the American Psychological Association.