Lecture Notes in Education
Psychology and Public Media

Asian-Americans in COVID-19: A Literature Review of Mental Health Status and Service Use


Yue Li * 1 , Zixuan Wang 2 , Wei Li 3

1 School of French, Sichuan International Studies University

2 Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, King's College London

3 School of Public Health, University of Washington

Corresponding Author

Yue Li


Covid-19, social discrimination, mental health status, Asian Americans, mental health service delivery


Objectives: Reports of racial discrimination against Asian Americans has surged during the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of Asian Americans' mental health status during Covid-19 and an assessment of the barriers and disparities within Asian Americans’ mental health service delivery. Methods: Four databases and the publisher The Lancet were chosen to search journal articles regarding Asian Americans' mental health status and service use. The increasing racial discrimination was examined as a critical parameter to assess Asian Americans' mental health status. The accessibility of mental health services and the responsiveness of Asian Americans’ appropriate needs were studied by gender, subgroups and other moderating factors. Results: A total of 49 studies met the review criteria. Asian Americans encountered increasing coronavirus-related discrimination and presented a deteriorated mental health state during Covid-19. A high rate of informal/non-professional mental health service use and an overall low rate of professional service use were found in Asian Americans. Inaccurate self-reporting and diagnosis, language barriers, financial difficulty, and the lack of health insurance and education are contributing factors of the unmet needs of Asian Americans when seeking mental health services. Conclusions: Possible reasons that explain Asian Americans’ mental health issues reside in socio-economic factors such as cultural differences, limited English proficiency, and low prevalence rates of health insurance and education. Evidence-based policies against racism, inter-ethnic connections, and cultural identity understanding are needed on national and community levels to address Asian hate crimes and discrimination. Virtual mental health services, culture-specific forms of intervention and treatment responses and appropriate education about Asian American mental health issues can help improve Asian Americans' mental health conditions.


Yue Li, Zixuan Wang, Wei Li. Asian-Americans in COVID-19: A Literature Review of Mental Health Status and Service Use. LNEP (2021) LNEP ICEIPI 2021: 321-331. DOI: 10.54254/lnep.iceipi.2021230.


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