Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

Grant Activity: Current Activity Impacting Communities

Chinese elders ‘walk the middle path’ to better mental health

Members at the Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center in Queens, New York, perform tai chi on a Friday morning. Photo courtesy of Jad Sleiman and WHYY.
 
It’s a Friday morning, and the Selfhelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center in Flushing, Queens is bustling with activity.
 
In one room, around two-dozen Asian seniors are practicing tai chi. Nearby, another group rehearses an opera, their voices rising above the reedy twang of traditional Chinese instruments.
 
But Jane Qiu, the program director here, says Selfhelp’s seniors weren’t always so engaged.
 
“By observation, I can see some members, when they came here, were so sad and just crying,” Qiu says. “And now they are just involved in all activities, smiling. You can see their faces here, just fewer couch potatoes.”
 
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