Cultural Diversity & Mental Health
Tuesday, December 14, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm via Zoom
with Susan Zhang and Jing Han from Action Dignity Society



Since the breakout of COVID-19, many ethnocultural minority groups have experienced mental distress due to factors such as racism and prejudice. At the same time, there is still a sense of stigma in many cultures that creates barriers for people to reach for help. This session will help us understand the risk factors and various barriers to mental health that ethnocultural minorities face and how we can better support them. We will introduce community initiatives that are currently being done to address these issues, including the Chinese Emotional Support Hotline launched this year and the cultural broker system from Action Dignity Society. The Chinese Emotional Support Hotline will help us understand some of the barriers the Chinese community has faced and how the hotline is taking a unique approach to better their community’s mental wellbeing. This session will help you gain insight into appreciating our differences to better communicate with people of various backgrounds. We would like to acknowledge Victor Zhang and Andy Xu who were key contributors to this project and ensured the hotline became a reality.


Susan Zhang is currently a Pharmacy student at the UofA.  This year she collaborated with ECSSEN Career School charity to develop and pilot a Chinese Emotional Support Hotline that provides culturally tailored supportive listening, crisis intervention, needs assessment and resource referral services to the Chinese community in Alberta.

Jing Han is a University of Alberta graduate who majored in Psychology. She is a current project manager of the hotline and a community culture broker with Action Dignity Society.


Victor Zhang is a gender studies researcher, intersectional feminist who is interested in mental health initiatives in the context of migration and social justice.


Andy Xu is a fourth-year student in the Bachelor of Criminal Justice program at Mount Royal University. He is studying criminology, Indigenous epistemology, and cultural diversity. He is currently working as a training volunteer in the Chinese Emotional Support Hotline and participating in other community projects aiming to forge the skillset to work in human services.