Behavior Health and Wellness Blog

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Intergenerational Trauma And Healing In AAPI Communities

“It’s important to feel like you have permission to grieve lost oral histories because you can’t access your elders in their language, or grieve years of your adolescence that you lost trying to fit into mainstream culture.  Find others with these shared experiences of intergenerational trauma, exchange stories, and build solidarity in shared experiences.” 

Molly Wang

Intergenerational trauma has affected mental health, relationships, and identity in AAPI communities and families. The complex and multifaceted nature of mental health affects each individual and each family differently. From colonization, war, racism and xenophobia a great adversity has arisen, leaving many Asian families in the shadows of unspoken trauma. Intergenerational trauma leaves deep unhealed wounds, wounds that come from the pain and struggle of a families descendants. The transmission of trauma from descendants to future generations, accompanied by traditional cultural values and expectations can lead to mental health challenges among APPI individuals. By acknowledging and addressing mental health challenges, creating an environment of cultural support and fostering mental well-being, AAPI families can create healing together and for future generations.


  • Asian Americans have a 17.3% lifetime rate of psychiatric disorders.
  • 70% of Southeast Asian refugees undergoing mental health treatment received a PTSD diagnosis
  • Asian Americans are 3 times less likely to receive mental health treatment than their white counterparts.
  • Trauma informed therapeutic treatment can greatly help AAPI individuals who suffer from intergenerational trauma.


Seeking professional treatment from a culturally competent mental health care provider can teach individuals healthy strategies to heal from generations of trauma. BIPOC communities that join forces creating communities of peace and support can also help others who are on the journey of healing from intergenerational trauma.



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