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What is CHAMP?

The Coalition for Healthy Asian Minds Program (CHAMP) is a partnership between the Center for Asian Health Equity and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) with the goal of reducing health inequities related to mental health affecting Asian American communities. We aim to reduce these inequities by improving mental health literacy, reducing stigma, and improving access to culturally informed mental health services for Asian American families.

Why does CHAMP matter?

  • 16.4% of Asian Americans reported having a diagnosable mental health disorder (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration)
  • Only 8 % of Asian Americans adults used mental health services compared with 22% of non-Hispanic Whites (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration)
  • Mental Health service utilization among Asian Americans remains unchanged over the past decade (5.6% in 2006 vs. 6.0% in 2017) (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration)
  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Asian Americans (The Office of Minority Health)
  • Asian American women ages 15-24 and 65 and older have the highest suicide rates among women across all racial/ethnic groups (National Alliance on Mental Illness & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Many refugees from war-torn Southeast Asian countries suffer from mental illness, 50-70% suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 40% suffer from depression, and 35% suffer from anxiety (National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association)


Through CHAMP we will focus on the Asian American communities in the Chicago metropolitan area. The Chicago metropolitan area has the largest concentration of Asian Americans in the Midwest and the 6th largest in the U.S.


This program is designed to generate need/demand (pull) for mental health services among 6 Asian subgroups (Afghan, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Lao, and Pakistani), activate the community, and increase the capacity of the healthcare infrastructure to deliver culturally competent mental health services. Our organized approach will incorporate the mental health control continuum, from awareness to understanding, to intention to action, and from screening to linkage to care, with our ultimate goal being to reduce mental health care disparities and eliminate the unnecessary burden of mental illness among Asian American communities in the Chicago Metropolitan area.

Strategies include:

  1. Form a CBO advisory board to inform program design
  2. Conduct focus groups to learn how Asian American receive mental health information and services and their knowledge and view of mental health and mental health treatment
  3. Conduct a mental health survey to assess mental health literacy, stigma and mental health service utilization
  4. Conduct a culturally targeted media campaign to raise awareness of mental health and improve access to mental health information
  5. Train CBO staff to become Community Health Advisors to recognize and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges and provide linkage to mental health service
  6. Increase the delivery of culturally sensitive and competent mental health care by understating the educational and resource need of providers


In 2021, the Center for Asian Health Equity conducted the CHAMP Individual Client Survey in order to learn more about how Asian Americans think about mental health and understand the barriers that prevent them from using mental health services.  Below are some of the survey results:


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Click HERE to learn more about Mental Health and Resources


Seeba Anam, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, or Yicklun Mo, MSW, LCSW, Assistant Director CAHE,