Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The Oikos shooting and the lack of culturally sensitive mental health care

The story of One L. Goh, the gunman charged with shooting ten people (seven of whom died) Monday at Oikos University in Oakland, is a complicated one. But one of the components that has stood out is Goh's mental and emotional state, which has prompted a discussion about what culturally sensitive mental health care there is available to Asians and other minorities in the U.S.

There isn't much, as Emil Guillermo points out in the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog. Guillermo writes as part of a lengthier essay:

Goh...seems to have been suffering more from external matters, the hard knocks of life, and may have been despondent over his financial woes and the recent death of his brother, a staff sergeant in the Army.

At 43, Goh was middle-aged and much more traditionally Korean than Cho. To most members of Goh's generation, mental health services aren't an option. You hold it in, you cope until you can't take it any longer.

Depression? A sign of weakness. And you don't seek out help or talk about anything in public.

If only Goh knew to seek help. Or had someone to turn to. Maybe the Oikos shootings could have been avoided.

Culturally sensitive health care options aren't always available, especially when it comes to mental health (another reason to back Obama's Affordable Care Act).

And candidates for care like Goh are rarely recognized as needing help at all.

Read more at: