Asian have experienced ongoing racism because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Western countries. World leaders and groups of people have promoted the idea that Asians are “responsible” for the coronavirus, or that Asians have a higher risk of contracting it. This has made them victims to a multitude of hate crimes and racist attacks around the world. It has taken a toll on Asians’ mental health, although the severity of their struggles have often gone bypassed or unnoticed. The microaggressions, xenophobia, and model minority myth are major perpetrators to the racism that Asians face in the West. The racial inequalities that Asians face on a daily basis has become so normalized that it is too often overlooked, which only exacerbates mental health issues within the community.
There is a misconception that Asians, as the model minority, are faring well in the current social climate. They are also the least likely to reach out for help with their mental health. Though Asian Americans report fewer mental health conditions than their white counterparts, they are more likely to consider suicide. This is also related to the fact that the mental health stigma still exists in Asian communities and Asians are less likely to discuss mental health issues. Furthermore, the pressure and expectations set by having the title of “model minority” prevents Asians from seeking help. Although this myth seems positive at first glance, it has detrimental effects on the Asian-American community.