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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Bridge Program: A Model for Delivering Mental Health Services to Asian Americans through Primary Care


Compared to all other racial and ethnic groups, Asian Americans have the lowest utilization of mental health services. Contributing factors include extremely low community awareness about mental health, a lack of culturally competent Asian American mental health professionals, and severe stigma associated with mental illness. This manuscript describes an innovative program that bridges the gap between primary care and mental health services. The Bridge Program, cited in the supplement to the Surgeon’s General’s Report on Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity as a model for delivery of mental health services through primary care; (2) to improve capacity by enhancing the skills of primary care providers to identify and treat mental disorders commonly seen in primary care; and (3) to raise community awareness by providing health education on mental health and illness. Results are presented and the potential for replication is addressed.

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