Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
When looking at issues of ethnicity and mental health we are constantly reminded that there is, at present, no unified paradigm to guide either the practitioner or the research scholar. What we do know is that the human organism is a socially constructed being. We also know that there are species-specific human needs that play out in the formation of mental well being; there does exist a common denominator, if you will, of optimum conditions and relational situations that underly all human development. Mental health is an arena where the universality of human needs meets the specificity or relativity of cultural ways and experiences. Hence, mental health becomes an arena in which the organic realities of social structures like racism, sexism, etc., reveal themselves. Unfortunately, too many prefer to operate as if their practice and services did not in fact interface with the realities of onerous and destructive social structures (ie., ignoring racism and sexism and enforced poverty and all the other biases that drive the American way is still the preferred denial system of far too many individuals who create and administer mental health services). In Asian Americans, Laura Uba gives us a masterful overview of phsychological [psychological] research on Asian Americans and dispells [dispels] any notion that contemporary mental health theory and practice has come anywhere near addressing the needs of this particular population. Her work is all the more powerful because she does not lecture, she presents. And her presentation carries impact because of her comprehensive approach to the literature and her clear and authoratative [authoritative] style of writing.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1995