Jenna Sung

In the United States, up to 80 percent of youth in need of psychological services never receive them despite the significant advancements in psychological intervention research. Treatment access disparities are largest among Asian American youth, especially immigrants, reporting the lowest service utilization rates than any other ethnic minority groups. As a clinical scientist, Jenna aspires to reduce this disparity by testing and disseminating accessible, equitable alternatives to traditional psychotherapy for these underserved youth. Thus, Jenna’s work has focused on developing brief, scalable mental health interventions that aim to overcome individual, familial, and systems-level access barriers. Further, Jenna aims to maximize the impact of this research by bridging the gap between research and policy. It is her personal and professional goal to help correct the decades-long history of inaccessible mental health care that disproportionately harms racial/ethnic minority and immigrant youth.

Growing up as a first-generation immigrant Korean American, Jenna closely observed how culture and immigration status interact with mental health issues to exacerbate the treatment-access barriers that minorities face. The obstacles she faced and witnessed have naturally fueled her personal and professional drive to build scalable solutions to mental health care disparities, specifically for low-income and immigrant groups.


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