Each May, Americans celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month or Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The celebration that begins on theMay 1 and ends on May 31, acknowledges the significant contribution of the Asian Pacific Americans to the world. The Asian Pacific American Heritage Week was first established in 1979, to mark the arrival of the first Japanese immigrant, a 14-year-old fisherman by the name of Manjiro on May 7, 1843, and also the completion of the transcontinental railroad which wouldn't have been possible without the 20,000 Chinese immigrants in May 1869. Here's History and Significance of the Month Celebrating Asian Pacific Americans In the United States. While Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is a celebration of accomplishments and contributions of Asian Pacific Americans not only in America but across the world, it is important to note that being Asian Americans are encumbered with its set of challenges that usually fall under the realm of trauma faced by these community due to their service during the war or having faced debilitating racism in a country that's predominantly white. In order to address these issues, This Month  May 10th will be observed as Asian Pacific American Mental Health Awareness Day.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage isn't merely limited to one nationality or heritage.  They encompass a myriad of countries, ethnicities, nationalities, and identities. Many communities face their unique sets of trauma and challenges bought forth by enlisting in wars, struggles with their self-identity, and children of immigrants struggle to relate to their cultural identities.

As veterans of war - Vietnam - World Wars - they have to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. As people struggling to hold on to their cultural heritage, struggle to reconcile their identities and challenges while also struggling with the guilt of the privilege that comes with growing up in a country that is not wrought in poverty.

Along with this, there is deeply ingrained racism that people in these communities have to face every day. Growing up in a country where you might be considered a minority, they are often ambushed with a barrage of stereotypical questions like - Where You From? How do you spell that? Do you miss Your country? This can make them feel isolated and feel like they don't belong. The feeling of extreme isolation can take a heavy toll on mental health. Ergo, this month Asian Pacific American Mental Health Awareness Day will address the mental challenges faced by these communities and provide adequate tools to deal with them.  Nasa Celebrates Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The AAPI communities have a rich heritage that spans thousands of years and have both shaped the history of the United States and their lives are dramatically influenced by moments in its history. Their contributions have come at a great cost to their mental health. So the day dedicated to raising awareness on mental health only hopes to provide the right kind of assistance to the individuals who need help. The theme was this 2021 Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Awareness Day is "You Are Not Alone."

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 11, 2021 09:15 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).