I cannot even with this, so I'm just going to get right to it.
Rinna Rem, a Thai-Cambodian woman living in PDX, has started a crowd-funding page to pay for her therapy. Yes. That. The caveat? Only her white friends should contribute. Why? Because, racism, discrimination, distress, that's why. From her page, a study in 2007 shows, "Suicide was the second leading cause of death for Asian-Americans aged 15-34." Risk factors include the experience of discrimination. So, if you are white, this is for you. I'm white, so it's for me too.
As a white person, I often find myself embarrassed to even be white. This whole thing for example. Sometimes I want to shake other white people. Hard. We are often doing it so wrong. We pretty much always need to check our privilege, to check our compassion, to check to see if we are being white entitled assholes.
As for Rinna, my heart breaks for her, because she has to feel this way. But even more so, because she has to ask for money at all. This is yet another example of why our mental health care system is failing us so epically. Even though we may be on par with other "developed" nations, we aren't on par with our OWN citizens. Mental health care is difficult to find, difficult to secure once you find it, and difficult to maintain once you've secured it. I know this because I have Bipolar Disorder and I am insured. I am insured well. And yet, in the throes of a manic episode I still had to wait six weeks to see a psychiatrist. A lot can happen in six weeks. Most notably, suicide. As many as one in five bipolar patients will try to kill themselves and succeed.
And what about minorities who feel ostracized, discriminated against, marginalized? If you said their rates of suicide are higher, you would be correct. Rinna is not alone and we are not powerless to help.
I don't know Rinna, but I know her well enough to go give her a piece of my white, entitled money, in hopes that she can find peace. Until our country can provide appropriate, sufficient care for those who need it, we need to pay attention.