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Trauma at Root of Mental Health Issues Among Vietnamese - California

“Post traumatic stress is very prevalent in the community. My dad has it, I had it, I was a refugee,” said Paul Hoang, a licensed clinical social worker and the co-host of a Vietnamese community television program. He also champions mental health for Vietnamese people through his nonprofit organization, Viet-Care, in Garden Grove.

"But PTSD is especially difficult to treat among the less acculturated older generation, Hoang said, because of reluctance to discuss traumatic experiences as well as attitudes about mental illness.

“There are some people who still believe that mental illness doesn’t exist....

"Other Vietnamese patients, while not succumbing to PTSD, are suffering from it nonetheless.

For example, it’s common for Vietnamese elders to visit their doctors complaining of pains, headache, dizzy spells or fainting, said Dr. Clayton Chau....

"Parents who experience nightmares, mistrust, depression and other symptoms of PTSD can pass these conditions to their children...."


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