The number of Asians in Auckland seeking help for mental health in the last five years has risen dramatically with one district health board reporting an 82 percent increase in cases.
More than 700,000 people who identify as Asian live in New Zealand - making up just over 15 percent of the country's population.
Close to two thirds, live in Auckland.
There has been a 41 percent increase of referrals for Asians seeking mental health support at the Auckland DHBs in the last five years.
In Counties Manukau the rise is 34 percent and Waitematā had the biggest jump, with an 82 percent increase of cases from just over 1100 cases to more than 2000.
All three DHBs have declined to comment.
Kelly Feng from Asian Family Services which offers counselling support, expected the real number of people needing help to be even higher.
"We do not really talk about those issues [and] that's created more challenges because you feel shame and stigma to talk about - you're going to keep it in the family," she said.
"The last thing you probably see is that everyone can't cope and [that's when] you present in a crisis situation and that's what I see in my DHB working time as well."
Kelly Feng has been working in mental health for the past 17 years - 10 of those have been spent in the Waitematā DHB.
She said most of the Asian patients she dealt with there were already suicidal.
Anis Azizi from Malaysia has been in the country for the last four years and just finished an honours degree in psychology at Auckland University.
At times she felt isolated and recognised that she needed help - unlike others.
"You have a problem, you try to solve it yourself or if you have a problem, you're not sure if it is big enough or if it is something that really requires intervention," she said.
"I think there is lack of knowledge about what is good mental health."
But even when she did get help, Ms Azizi said it was hard to connect with her counsellor.
"Even though I was engaging with someone who was Asian, it really still felt like I was engaging with a Western person. I'm from a collectivistic culture, family is really important to me - but they couldn't really understand," she said.
In October, a government-funded organisation tasked with investigating suicide here found some DHBs had established services for Asians, but there was no national approach.
That report by the Suicide Mortality Review Committee pointed to a 2006 Ministry of Health review recommending policy settings to look at the social factors that affect the health of Asians.
These include racial and institutional discrimination in housing and in health care.
The committee said it was unethical more has not been done.
Kelly Feng said there are serious gaps in mental health support for Asians.
"There's no [national] policy, there's no strategy, there's no dedicated service, there's no sustainable service, there's so many service gaps for Asians," she said.
Feng made submissions to the mental health inquiry last year but when the 219 page He Ara Oranga report came out, it didn't mention the word Asian once.
The word migrant was mentioned 11 times.
"Sometimes I feel like [I've been] repeating myself for the last 17 years and [at] many forums, conferences, consultations - I feel like I'm the only Asian around many people and being the only voice to advocate is hard. It takes a lot of courage and resilience," she said.
In a statement, the Health Minister, David Clark, said while the number of Asians seeking help for mental health and addiction issues is increasing, it is lower than the general population average.
He said the increase was not necessarily a bad thing - it means that Asians are looking for support.
But he admits the government is not currently developing a national mental health strategy specifically for those communities.
The government is currently considering joint proposals from DHBs, NGOs and Primary Health Organisations for funding from the first lot of its $455 million mental health grants.
Kelly Feng said she tried to partner with bigger providers to apply for support but so far, no one wants to include them.
The ministry said in the second half of next year, it would be working with stakeholders in each region to make sure the services rolled out in their areas reflect the needs of local communities.
For the Asian population, their question is, how much longer do they have to wait?
Where to get help:
Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 any time to speak to a trained counsellor, for any reason.
Asian Family Services: 0800 862342
Lifeline: 0800 543 354 or text HELP to 4357
Asian Family Services: 0800 862 342 or email email@example.com
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7) or text 4202
Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What's Up: online chat (3pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787 helpline (12pm-10pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm weekends)
Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (24/7)
Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254
Healthline: 0800 611 116
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.