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【关注亚裔老人精神健康】对抗“反亚裔” 后疫情时期保护自己
2021-06-29 11:20  更新:  
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关注亚裔老人精神健康(四):对抗“反亚裔”  后疫情时期保护自己

“在整个纽约州因为新冠疫情宣布关闭前的两个月,我已经从我们亚裔的员工和所服务的社区会员们口中,听说人们在拿新冠病毒开亚裔人群的玩笑,甚至很不幸地还有爆发肢体冲突事件。”长期服务华社的华策会总干事兼总裁何永康回忆,由于新冠疫情爆发于中国,针对亚裔的歧视其实贯穿了整个疫情期间。“在一月底,疫情在纽约还没有爆发,美东也还没有确认病案的时候,我们就直接开始做一些讲座。”纽约市人权局负责东亚社区的联络员冯郁雯说,人权局在疫情全面爆发之前,就已经开始有针对性地举办讲座,帮助亚裔群体,特别是小商业者们,做好准备,应对歧视:“提醒大家除了健康的部分,也要注意我们有可能受到歧视,尤其当时很多我们的华人或者亚裔的商户,已经受到间接的歧视,就是大家都不愿意到华人的店里消费。”

如今,疫情的威胁渐渐消除,但反亚裔的情绪却在全美蔓延,多起针对亚裔老人的伤害事件,令整个社区陷入不安。“华策会重新开启了面对面的服务项目,现在有员工对我说,相比‘染疫’,他们更担心‘被攻击’。”何永康说。

“这个绝对的对老人有巨大的影响。”王嘉廉社区医疗中心心理健康部精神科医生陆小春说,自己的不少病人和生活中接触的老人都表示,不敢出门了:“因为他们大部分都英文不太好,本身就已经很没有安全感了。再加上新闻中这些事件都是推老人,更会觉得有一种放大的恐惧。” 与女儿女婿一起住的余乐群就说,自己不敢坐地铁了,原来经常到曼哈顿活动,如今的情况下,没有必要是不会去的:“特别是像曼哈顿这样的地方,也少点去。”与年迈的父母一起生活的姚虹则表示,父母如果出行,她会很担心:“真的很担心啊,我父母很喜欢去法拉盛逛逛的,但现在如果要去的话,首先要非常小心,法拉盛已经发生了好几起了。”

纽约市卫生局公共资讯发言人、心理健康教育专员宋怡帧则说从政府机构接到的报告数据,也能看出变化:“2019年,纽约市人权局只接到一起针对亚裔的仇恨犯罪的报案,到了2020年11月的时候,就已经持续增长到205起 。”宋怡帧说,亚裔一般都不太爱惹事,也很少举报,这样的数据是非常保守的,“大大低于实际发生的侵害事件的”。

如果发生遭遇歧视的情况,人权局东亚社区联络员冯郁雯鼓励大家,特别老年人能够积极举报:“因为很多情况这个会升级,第一次发生的时候,可能只是讲两句,结果发现都没有人会关注这个事情,然后下一次可能会是更恶劣的攻击。”冯郁雯说很多人遭遇歧视的地点是在家里附近或者是经常要去的场所,如果不采取行动,很可能再次遭遇歧视:“所以我们希望大家会举报这个情况,给市政府的警察局也可以,人权局也可以,让我们能够提供一些帮助。”

长期服务华裔社区、有着许多老年客户的家庭医生陈治年则更关注老人具体应该如何保护自己:“第一个是如果能出去,起码要两三个一起,人多势众,人家就不容易欺负你。其次,现在有些年轻人站出来,帮助老人,保护他们,这些信息老人也需要知道。”陆小春也赞同,许多信息必须和老人及时沟通:“其实我倒觉得要相信老人,就是跟他们把具体的情况,预防的方式,每个家人都可以用自己的方式,跟老人做沟通,最重要的是, 让他们感觉到他们有需要的时候,不至于无助。”

针对亚裔在疫情的同时,承受歧视,引发心理压力等问题,纽约市卫生局公共资讯发言人、心理健康教育专员宋怡帧特别推荐卫生局在疫情期间推出的项目:“我们其实有一个非常好的项目,叫做纽约希望计划,它有两个部分,第一是有一个情绪支持热线1.844.863.9314,每星期七天早上8点到晚上10点可以拨打,还有15种语言可以选择,老人不用担心语言方面的问题;此外,它还有一个网站,NYProjectHope.org,网站提供的一个项目就是帮助你找到一个危机顾问,这些危机顾问都是很有经验的,能够帮助你处理创伤后遗症等紧急的心理问题。”宋怡帧透露,这个项目是由联邦紧急事务管理局(FEMA)出资,因而是一个全免费的服务。

“后疫情时代是一个很好的机会。”长期服务亚裔社区的心理咨询师Pamela Yew Schwartz说:“这个时刻,让我们反思,如何更好地照顾自己,照顾别人。”何永康则说:“在疫情中,亚裔首当其冲,受到伤害,希望在后疫情时代,亚裔群体不是最后一个恢复的。”

编者按:

六月是纽约市的精神健康宣传月。在美国老年学会,代际记者联盟,银发世纪基金会
(The Gerontological Society of America, The Journalists Network on Generations and the Silver Century Foundation)赞助的系列节目中,我们特别关注在过去一年的疫情里,亚裔老人的精神健康经历了怎样的危机,同时,一起寻找如何获得各方的帮助,像保护我们的身体健康一样,守护我的精神健康。

Mental Health of Asian Elderly in the Pandemic: Fight against Anti-Asian

"Two months before New York State closed down, I had staff members, community members we served who were Asian American already letting us know that people are making remarks about them and making jokes about Corona Virus near them." Wayne Ho, President & CEO of Chinese-American Planning Council Inc.,one of the biggest organizations that serving the Chinese community, recalled that since the pandemic first broke out in China, discrimination against Asian American has actually continued throughout the whole pandemic.

Flora Ferng, East Asian Communities Liaison from NYC Commission on Human Rights, said they started to do seminars to remind people of the possibilities of being discriminated even before the pandemic broke out in US.  “It was the end of January, 2020, the pandemic had not yet broken out in NYC, and there was no confrimed case in US. We had already started holding some seminars to remind Chinese Americans that other than worrying about health, we also need to be cautious that we might recieve discrimination.”

Wayne Ho said that discrimination was getting more and more severe as CPC working on restoring the in-person community services. “In the past couple of months, as CPC has reopened all our programs for in-person services, I now have staff telling me that they more afraid of catching a fist to their faces than they are catching COVID.”

"This absolute has a huge impact on the elderly." Xiaochun Lu, psychiatrist of Mental Health in Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, said that many of her patients who are Chinese seniors told her that they dare not go out: "Because most of them are not good in English,  and they feel very insecure. Now with all the news about anti-Asian crimes that targeting seniors,  their fear might be magnified." 

Lequn Yu, who lives with his daughter and son-in-law, said that he dare not to take subway any more. “I used to go to Manhattan a lot, but now I’m afraid of going to the place like Manhattan.” He said. Yao Hong, who lives with her elderly parents, said, she will be very worried if her parents going out: "I’m really worried about them. My parents used to go to Flushing by themselves almost everyday, but now I will drive them there if they want to go and ask them to be very careful. There have been several incidents in Flushing."

Echo Song, from Department of Health & Mental Hygiene of NYC said that there has been a significant, troubling increase in anti-Asian hate crimes and bias incidents. “There was one reported incident of Anti-Asian crime in 2019. During the 11-month period in 2020, that number increased to 205. And due to the low reporting records of Asian community, the number is expected to be much less than the incidents really happened.”

In case of encourter anti-Asian hate crimes and bias incidents, Flora Ferng encourages everyone, especially the elderly, to report: “Because in many situations, the discriminate incidents will escalate. Maybe at first, it could be just a few words, and if it turns out that no onel paid attention, there could be a worse attach the next time." Flora said that many people encounter the bias incidents near their homes or the place they go frequently. If they do not take action, they are likely to encounter discrimination again: "So we hope that everyone who meet the incidents will report to the police station or NYC Commission on Human Rights so that we can provide some help."

Dr. Henry Chen, Primary Care Physician who served Chinese community for many years, provided some tips for seniors to protect themselves: "First, if you want go out, go with your friends, at least two or three people together. The more you have on your side, the less likely to be bullied. Secondly, now there are some young people standing up to help the elderly and protect them. Seniors also need to know this kind of information.”Xiaochun Lu also agrees that many information must be communicated with the elderly in time: “In fact, I think that we should trust our seniors. Every family member should communicate in their own ways with the elderly about current situation and the methods they could use to reach out for help. The most important thing is to let seniors know they can always ask for help when they are in need."

Echo Song, Public Information Speaker of  Department of Health & Mental Hygiene of NYC recommended the mental health support program launched especially to address the problems happened in the pandemic: " We have a program called NY Project Hope. The program has two parts, first is the mental health helpline 1.844.863.9314. Crisis counselors are available over the phone 7 days a week from 8am-10pm. You can also get connected to a crisis counselor by visiting NYProjectHope.org and selecting “Find a Provider Near You”.  These crisis consultants are very experienced and can help you deal with urgent psychological problems such as PTSD. "She also revealed that this project is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), so it is a free service.

“I think the post pandemic is a opportunity to let people know how do we take care of ourselves and how do we take care of each other, whether not it’s racial issues or mental health issues.” said Pamela Yew Schwartz, therapist & Former Secretary of New York Coalition for Asian American Mental Health. Wayne Ho also hope that Asian Americans can soon get rid of the impact of the pandemic: “We’d like to remind people that Asian Americans that we were the first ones to suffer from the pandemic, and we hope we are not the last ones to recover.”

Editor's words:

June is Mental Health Awareness Month in New York City. We launched our special programs paying attention to the crisis in the mental health of Asian elderly people during the COVID pandemic in the past year. The program is sponored by The Gerontological Society of America, The Journalists Network on Generations and the Silver Century Foundation. We hope to promote the mental health while call for more attention to the equal access to the mental health resouces.  

【关注亚裔老人精神健康】对抗“反亚裔” 后疫情时期保护自己
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