At the flagship location of Nao Medical's walk-in clinics in Queens, New York, you'll find the usual urgent care services.
Patients are treated for physical ailments like at most centers, but there are also mental health specialists on-hand to treat emergencies.
"Emotional health is a big, big part of how somebody feels and how healthy somebody can be," said Nao Medical co-CEO and acting medical director Dr. Priti Jain.
Jain believes it's important to take a holistic approach to health — and said it's especially important for people in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities who may not consider emotional concerns as a real problem. For example, in her native tongue of Hindi, she said that there isn't even a word for anxiety, making it difficult for her to ask Indian patients if they are experiencing symptoms related to the issue.
"They're most likely going to present to clinics such as ours," Jain said. "And because they don't want to talk about psychiatric issues, they might come in with an increased heart rate, they might come in with feeling restless, and then it's up to us to do the rest of the work." 
Less than a quarter of AAPI adults with a mental illness received treatment in 2019, the last time a comprehensive study was completed according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The rate is the lowest among ethnic groups in the United States. A recent MetroPlusHealth study among New Yorkers found the pandemic may have even exacerbated the issue, with 72 percent of AAPI women saying they felt stressed, compared to 58 percent of the general New York population. The study revealed 64 percent said the pandemic negatively affected their mental health, with just 40 percent of average New Yorkers saying the same. 
MetroPlusHealth is also trying to remove the stigma around mental health and make services more accessible. The company offers free or low-cost mental health services in more than 40 languages.
"People might feel more comfortable speaking to a professional that looks like them, that speaks their language," said MetroPlusHealth's head of marketing communications Ken Louie.
"And that's why it's so important to have those types of services."
Among the top reasons mental wellbeing isn't discussed is shame, he adds.
"We hear from our clients that if we were to talk to friends or even have talk therapy, are people going to think we're crazy?" he said.
Other challenges for AAPI individuals seeking help include problems with immigration status and other cultural taboos. Forty percent of LBGTQ+ AAPI youth, for example, have thought about suicide, partially because being gay is often not accepted in Asian cultures, Jain pointed out. 
"There has to be more acceptance of the LGBTQ group within these minorities," she said "I think it's really important that we start to target some of these groups, maybe in community centers, schools, colleges, dorms…. It's a really good place to catch our youth and provide the services at really a grassroots level."
Monetary issues also add to the burden. The AAPI community covers a large number of people from different backgrounds and is the most economically-divided racial group, according to Pew Research Center.

"If we don't make mental health affordable, it's going to be very hard for them to seek mental health care," Jain said. 
The first step, however, is to get people to understand it's okay to take care of your emotions.
"If you had hypertension, you would still go to the doctor, wouldn't you?" Jain said. "So if you think you have depression, then please, by all means, you know, see a doctor, don't be ashamed. And it's okay. It's all okay."