According to the World Heath Organization, one in four people worldwide will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lives. However, there is still a stigma surrounding the topic that leads to a lack of receptiveness, particularly within immigrant families.
The First Generation speaks to the experiences of each type of “first” generation (first to immigrate and first to be born in the new country) and why it’s harder for children of immigrants to navigate the conversation surrounding mental health journeys. The book includes insights from children of Serbian, Filipino, and Chinese immigrants, and helps us realize that problems do not discriminate. Mental health issues are common in all cultures, which is why we need to make it not only acceptable, but normal to talk about our mental wellness.
The reality of mental health is that you don’t need to be in a war zone to experience PTSD. You don’t need to go without to become a hoarder. Mental health is much more nuanced than that and we need to learn how to navigate it if we want to help our loved ones. The First Generation speaks to children of immigrants and people with mental health problems who are looking at de-stigmatizing mental health and getting help for the first time.
So let’s talk about the elephant in the room! Let’s talk about the things that we’ve been taught to keep hidden. Let’s talk about our mental health and all those things that make us — and our families — uncomfortable. There are a lot of amazing conversations that will come from it.