Health and Healing for Cambodian Survivors

This story was originally published in KVPR with support from the 2022 California Fellowship.

California is home to the largest population of Cambodians in the United States. According to the U.S. Census, approximately 6,700 live in Fresno, making it the fifth largest concentration in the state. Most Cambodians who first arrived in the country came as refugees in the 1980s. They were escaping the horrors of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, which orchestrated a genocide that killed at least two million people between 1975 to 1979.

Forty years after resettlement, this community is still grappling with the aftermath. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 62 percent of those who had lived through the regime suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and 51 percent face depression.

Many survivors are still in need of mental health treatment, but often face language and cultural barriers to access it. This series explores the mental health care options available to Cambodian survivors today and the role community plays in the healing process.

KVPR’s Soreath Hok reported this story while participating in the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism’s 2022 California Fellowship.

Hear a new story from the five-part series each day at 7:45 am the week of November 28. Check this page to find each story after it runs on-air.