Asian Americans share fears after California mass shootings

There have been three mass shootings in California this week. The last two in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay hit close to home for the Asian American community.

“To be honest, I’m scared to be here” Asia-Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center said executive director Christina Kataoka. “There’s a huge part of me that wants to run and the other way around.”

At a vigil on Monday, the Monterey Park community held healing rallies after violence which killed 11 people and injured 9 others.

That same night, they discovered there was another incident in Northern California, about a 6 hour drive to Half Moon Bay.

Rapid, consecutive mass shootings like these can heighten fear and anxiety.

Scripps News spoke with psychologist Michi Fu, who works in Monterey Park. Some of her clients frequent the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where the filming took place. Others attended the Lunar New Year festival, just hours before filming on Saturday.

SEE MORE : Police still unsure of motive for Monterey Park shooting

“It’s easy for people in our community not to seek help, it’s absolutely one of the times when if you’re not able to seek formal health pathways, you can even look for informal ways,” Fu said. “So whether you go to your places of worship or can connect socially with people, it’s important not to isolate yourself.”

When it comes to mental health, especially with Asian American communityFu says stigma can keep people from seeking help.

“It’s actually a disadvantage, because it prevents you from getting help as soon as possible,” she continued. “And we know that with mental health issues, it’s easier to fix something when you get help during the first signs of symptoms.”

SEE MORE : The suspect in the shootings at the Half Moon Bay farms was an employee

“[The] The mental health signs that we need to watch out for are things like disrupted sleep, disrupted eating habits, and any mood changes we might have,” Fu said. “There are other telltale signs, like blood pressure, that can indicate whether we are experiencing stress or not. »

Fu says it’s easier than you think to start a conversation about mental health.

“If you see a friend in trouble, the best thing to do is just approach them,” she said. “I know in my community the friendliest way is to first ask, ‘Have you eaten yet?'”

Kataoka tries to support her community by participating in events, like Monday’s Vigil. She recommends writing a list of four people who can be there for you when times get tough.

“Create your community when you feel strong so that when something happens you are ready and know there is someone there for you.”

Come together as a community as a means of healing is one way to start the conversation.

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