What is Bridges?
Bridges is a stigma-free hub for Asian Pacific Islander Desi Americans (APIDA) to discuss, navigate, and seek mental health care. One of our goals is to help relieve the stress and difficulty in finding competent and affirming therapy services. We do this by providing a directory of clinicians and providers who are passionate about working with the APIDA community. Bridges facilitates connections between APIDA community members and mental health providers and resources. We also strive to create a mutual space for individuals with diverse cultural, hyphenated identities, as well as providers who are passionate about serving this community.
How We Got Started
The idea of Bridges was formed from our work as therapists when we began to notice we were being contacted APIDA community members who were specifically seeking therapy from Asian American women. Many of these individuals shared similar stories of their identity being misunderstood or invalidated by previous therapists. We continually heard experiences of those who were seeking compassionate understanding, and instead felt unseen and unheard by the individuals who they had looked to for healing.
These stories left a strong impact, and we began to discuss how we could better serve our community in connecting to compassionate and identity-affirming mental health services. Shortly after we linked up with Diana, a fellow therapist, who was working on a project closely aligned with ours, and combined our work to officially form Bridges.
New York has the second largest population of APIDA community members in the country, who hold unique experiences and needs around mental health. This community is also three times less likely to seek mental health care than other Americans. Approximately 13.1% of APIDAs meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health related issue, and suicide is a leading cause of death among this community.
In spite of a strong need for mental health services among this growing population, there is a lack of resources, programs, and services geared towards the APIDA community, Our hope is that through Bridges we can help facilitate connections to mental health providers, whether it is someone who holds a shared cultural identity, or someone who is passionate about working with and serving this community.
We invite you to come join this community, whether it be through contributing a blog, seeking out services through our directory, or listing yourself as practitioner or provider dedicated to working with this population.
To get in touch write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With love, Christie, Diana, and Sam