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Working Together: The Archives

A New Voice In Hmong Mental Health

A new Minnesota based podcast, Hmong Mental Health Podcast, has released their first few episodes discussing mental health and its relationship with the Hmong community. Formed and led by 4 Hmong mental health specialists from the Vanguard Clinic in Woodbury, these clinicians are mission driven to help remove stigmas and hope to alleviate some of the struggles the community has with mental health.“There’s a lot of shame, lack of support from family members, and a limited understanding of mental-health services.”  What is refreshing and new is that all of the clinicians are aware that this podcast will never take away from professional support but they hope that it “will reduce the barriers to seek help”. With that said, this podcast will go deeper and combine cultural aspects. “We want to meet the needs of mental-health struggles today, we must do something differently to reach those communities and make an impact”. This positive tone can be heard throughout the entire podcast. 


The relationship between mental health and the Hmong community is a relatively new challenge. As said in the podcast, “Because the Hmong story is filled with an oppressive history and displaced experiences, we have internalized this narrative, historically speaking, that says that we’re a people without a country.” The trauma of war and resettlement pushed the community further away from the understanding of their own mental health. “They don’t have time to think about mental health; they’re surviving. Now that we’re in this place where we’re not in pure survival mode, we start thinking about opportunities for advancement … that’s when things like activism and mental health and self-development come in.”.


The flow of the conversation feels authentic, textured, difficult, yet fresh, and reassuring. Listening to the speakers jump in and out from english to Hmong layers in an understanding that the hmong language, although it can be limited in describing the ailments of mental health, it can be very adaptive. When speaking about the Hmong language, the podcast says“ some things in our language [Hmong] make more sense and are more accurate” The podcast acknowledges and centers the Hmong’s nomadic communication style.  


On a personal note, after listening to the first podcast it left me with a feeling of vulnerability and fulfillment. Being Hmong, the podcast was filling in the spaces in which I could not explain or express. This podcast is ready to change things in the community and I am here for it. You can find the Hmong Mental Health Podcast streaming on Apple and Spotify 


 If you are seeking support please look into our Mental Health Resources:


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