Asian-American Groups Start Mental Health Program for DACA Recipients

Monica Luhar for NBC News, Oct. 10, 2017 

A group of Asian-American and Pacific Islander-serving organizations announced the creation of a mental health program for recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and their families Thursday, a month after the White House announced that it was ending the program.

Ten mental health service providers from the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON) — a Los Angeles-based consortium of Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) groups — said they will provide free counseling, case management, and other mental health services through the DACA Mental Health Project.

Members of A3PCON discuss mental health needs in the AAPI community with LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn.Courtesy of A3PCON

The groups said they are providing the services in 12 languages: Bangla, Cantonese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, and English.

Connie Chung Joe, co-chair of A3PCON, said it was important for the groups to say they would continue to provide services during a time of uncertainty that has seen some clients shy away from seeking help.

RELATED: Asian-American Advocates Blast Trump Decision to End DACA Program

“We wanted to make it particularly clear that we would find a way to serve DACA recipients regardless of whatever Medi-Cal qualifications or status, without having to [worry] about getting the government involved,” she said.