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Exploring the development of digital mental health platforms by identifying unmet mental health needs and current well-being practices among Asian American students.

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Objective: Asian Americans have the lowest mental health help-seeking rate of any racial-ethnic group. This study aimed to better understand the mental health needs, barriers, and experiences of the Asian American student community and explored the co-design of a digital platform.

Methods: This study examined the mental health experiences of Asian American college/university students through a multi-phased approach. The study included a secondary analysis of a needs assessment survey and preliminary human-centered design interviews, which included both interview questions and a co-design process. Descriptive statistics are reported for survey data, which informed the development of the human-centered design interviews. Preliminary thematic analysis was conducted to assess the interview transcripts.

Results: Seventy-five Asian American participants (n=75) between 18-27 years old (mean: 21.99; SD: 4.14) completed the survey. While only 13.33% (10/75) currently used professional services, both offered by their college/university and outside of it, the most commonly desired resource was mental health resources and services offered outside of their college/university (50.67%, 38/75) and by their college/university (49.33%, 37/75). Potential barriers included not knowing where to access professional services, perceptions of self and others if utilizing professional services, and lack of cultural or ethnic representation and tailoring. Four individuals who identify as Asian American (n=4) individually completed human-centered design interviews. These preliminary interviews begin to shed light on the importance of cultural considerations and the potential of a digital platform to curate relevant resources.

Conclusion: This thesis suggests that students would like to utilize professional mental health services but often times they do not impart due to cultural influences. We recognized that ability to find culturally tailored resources is a barrier and there is a potential for a digital platform to curate culturally-appropriate resources for this community.

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This item is under embargo until June 16, 2023.