Mental health experts offer advice for processing discrimination

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Eight women were murdered in the Atlanta area last week. Six of them were Asian-American. Now, mental health experts are offering advice for people who are still trying to process what happened.

“There’s always been anti-Asian sentiment ever since Asians have been in this country,” said Teresa Mok, licensed clinical psychologist. Reports show it is not going away.

Data from “Stop AAPI Hate” said Asian Americans were subjected to nearly 3,800 hate incidents over the last year.

Mok is a license clinical psychologist in Urbana. She said some of the common health effects that can result from incidents of discrimination and racism include anxiety, uncertainty, PTSD and sadness.

Mok said people can experience secondary trauma if they are reading, hearing or talking to someone about these events as well. “I think oftentimes when we talk about racial issues in this country, it’s often framed as a black/white issue–and absolutely that’s important and needs to be understood even more than we already do–but oftentimes what can happen to Asian Americans and other communities that are marginalized is they may feel overlooked or as if their experience gets erased or marginalized.”

She said it is important for people to speak out against injustice, get help from a therapist and find support if you need it.

“We’re a group of many different cultures, people who are immigrants and something that hurts one of us hurts all of us,” said Mok.

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