Bengali Mental Health Movement
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Bengali Mental Health Movement CARES
Bengali Mental Health Movement is an initiative that aspires to make mental health resources more accessible for the Bengali community. It is our hope that through building awareness and understanding about mental health experiences, that we support each other and grow stronger as a community.
We are building Community by uniting Bengali people in the effort to normalize mental health experiences and treatment. By collaborating with organizations that are dedicated to empowering South Asians, we aim to establish a network of shared resources and services.
We hope to increase Awareness about mental health and decrease the stigma around mental health conditions and treatment. According to a community needs assessment conducted in New York City, there is an unmet need for mental health services within the Bangladeshi community, particularly around this conditions of depression and anxiety (Patel, Rajpathak & Karasz, 2012). Normalizing conversations on mental health improves our community’s health outcomes because it allows for people who are silently enduring mental health disorders to seek assistance in safety.
Our Resources are curated to be more accessible to the community. We provide Infosheets that describe various mental health experiences, translated in Bangla and English. The Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health revealed that due to the lack of bilingual Providers, almost half of Asian-Americans had low use of mental health services. Bangladeshis have one of the highest levels of linguistic isolation among all Asian American/Pacific Islander groups (Handbook of Asian American Health, 2013). Resources are sorted by mental health topic and can be used as educational material for the community. These infosheets can also be used to understand clinical language used in healthcare settings and shed insight about one’s symptoms. Note: These resources are not to be used as diagnostic assessments. To receive greater clarity about your mental health condition, please seek professional services by meeting with your primary care doctor or mental health clinician.
The Events that we organize in the community are intended to be informative and restorative. As we begin to process the hardships that our community has faced, we aim to provide tools that will help us cope with life’s trials. These events will also incorporate ways that our community has been resilient, building on practices that have been used for healing through generations. We are dedicated to inclusivity and accessibility therefore our events are open to Bengali people of all social identities.
Through our efforts and community engagement, we will always be in the process of ensuring that we provide a Safe Space for people to unpack and process their emotional experiences. We will encounter difficult conversations and sensitive topics that may make us uncomfortable. Thus we are committed to making sure that we address harm when it occurs and try to be accountable when we act from a place of unknowing. Discrimination and hate will not be accepted.
How we can help you?
Browse our Resource Library to find worksheets, informational guides, and media that best suits your needs.
Grief and Loss
Intimate Partner Violence
Directory of Providers
Provider Directory – features Bengali and South Asian mental health professionals across the US, Canada, and the UK. You may browse the directory to find a provider who may speak your language or share your cultural background. Please read carefully about whether the provider is offering the services you are seeking and can meet your needs. Some professionals in the list may or may not offer direct social services (counseling, therapy, etc).
Availability and fees are varied by provider. If a provider has a sliding scale, your fee may be set based on your ability to pay. Make sure to confirm with your health insurance provider about whether you have coverage for mental health services.
How can I find a therapist?
There are a number of sources to refer to when you begin your search for a therapist. Some things to consider before starting your search:
Finding a therapist that is accessible to your geographic location is something to consider. If a therapist is too far (for example: from work, home, or school), then making it to therapy will be difficult.
If you are seeking a therapist with certain social identities, this may be something to consider. Think about what is really important to you in terms of feeling comfortable with a therapist.
Your health insurance provider might cover costs for mental health services. Call your provider and ask if you have a deductible to meet or a co-pay to pay. Then check with the mental health service provider if they accept your insurance plan.
Note: A deductible is the amount you pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan starts to pay. A copay is a fixed amount you pay for a health care service, usually when you receive the service. Coinsurance is your share of the costs of a health care service.
Source: Blue-Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan Website
In the case that you don’t have insurance or don’t have adequate coverage for services, consider your financial ability to pay for services. For example, you may want to determine how much you are willing to pay per week or per month for therapy sessions. There are community clinics that may offer counseling services or medication management at reduced rates for students or people who are unemployed. Ask if a provider or clinic offers a “sliding scale,” which is an adjusted rate determined by income.
There are various kinds of therapy. Do you want therapy in an individual setting or in a group setting? Do some research about types of therapy; two commonly sought kinds are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Psychodynamic Therapy.
After doing research or speaking to your General Practitioner about what kind of therapy may suit your needs, you can use the following resources to find a therapist: