Suicide Rising Among Asian American Women
- By Sam George
- Published 05/19/2007
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at email@example.com
The sobering statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services confirms it. Asian-American women ages 15-24 have the highest suicide rate of women in any race or ethnic group in that age group. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for Asian-American women in that age range.
I have written in the past how model minority myth does more harm than good. Globally children of immigrants face tremendous pressure to succeed academically and professionaly. Second generation have a marginalized existence and their dilemma often does not recieve adequate support from the community. The recent Virginia Tech incident further exposed the complex nature of AA second generation mind.
One another reason that particularly plays out in Indian American community for children to consider suicide is regarding marriage. With strong stereotypical views against outmarriages (though interracial or inter faith marriages is highest among them) and gender ratio being skewed against marriageable women, many have shown suicidal tendencies.
Youth workers and pastors in the Asian American communities need to engage theological and culturally the issue of success and achievement orientation. We got to bring out some of these growing crisese in the community and develop creative solutions.