As a woman cradled between the diametric cultures  of India and America, I am acutely aware of the impact culture, immigration and acculturation have on the mental health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. 

Unfortunately, the mental health needs of people within multicultural and immigrant communities are often unmet. And, people struggling with mental health conditions within these undeserved communities often suffer in shame and isolation. 

I sincerely believe when people stand up and share their stories of struggle and resilience, we can change the culture of fear, shame  and isolation surrounding mental illness and create communities of acceptance, empathy and inclusion. 

ASHA International salutes mental heroes like Emily Wu Truong featured in this newsletter for her courage in sharing her story to give hope to others on their road to recovery and well being. 

Please see Emily's Q & A, and video below. And, share her message of hope and resilience  with your family, friends, colleagues and clients.
 
Together, we can promote awareness that mental health conditions are part of the human experience regardless of age, gender, geography, culture or socio-economic status. And, together, we can create a world of acceptance, empathy, and inclusion where every man, woman and child struggling with a mental health condition can find the love and support they need to create healthy, meaningful, productive lives. 

Wishing you wellness ,
Founder & President
ASHA International
LIVING WELL -  Q & A with Emily Wu Truong
How do you define wellness?

  Wellness is the ability to balance our strengths and weaknesses and the good & bad in life. Practicing this is easier said than done, but with tools and daily practice, it is not impossible. Most acknowledge that we need to exercise to be physically fit, but we need mental fitness too. We need to find the tools to help us gain contentment and peace of mind when circumstances are out of our control.
 
What was life like before you found wellness? 

 Despite my down-to-earth & personality, I grew up with low self-esteem. No one noticed how bad my negative self-talk was - it was a subconscious voice that reiterated my self-disappointment. There were signs that I was depressed, but no one said anything. Believing that I had to be perfect to survive this life, I held unrealistic expectations of myself, & I was never proud of me. 

Finding wellness helped me discover my purpose in life. It was the best feeling in the world. I took steps to find help for myself and became determined to normalize the conversations on mental health and suicide by sharing my story. However, I couldn't do it alone. After meeting advocates from all over the world, life is good. Initially, my advocacy work was lonely. Now, it feels good to know I'm not alone.  
 
What do you do to live well?
 
For self-care, I attend support groups from Recovery International & my local NAMI chapter to consistently surround myself among other individuals. I've also become a fashion statement for the cause as well. Most people don't know that the lime green ribbon stands for mental health awareness. So I use my creativity wearing the color to stand out and represent mental health to change people's attitudes around mental health. Part of my wellness has also included mental health advocacy. Over the last four years, I've attended multiple mental health conferences to educate myself, shared my personal story, organized community forums and support groups to highlight other resilient individuals and to create safe spaces for underserved communities of color to openly speak about their own concerns.  
 
To learn more about Emily's journey to wellness, check out her Facebook page:& her most recent article highlighted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.  
Emily's Message of Hope


UPCOMING EVENTS

August 25, 2017
Finding the Light Within
Keynote p resented by Gayathri Ramprasad
NAMI California Conference
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa
Newport  Beach, CA
Please click here to learn more and register 

October 20, 2017
A Celebration of Hope: An Evening of Storytelling
ASHA International's Annual Fundraising Event
6:00 - 9:00 PM
Embassy Suites Hotel
20001 NW Tanasbourne Drive, Hillsboro, Oregon, 97124

November 4, 2017
Finding the Light Within
Keynote presented by Gayathri Ramprasad
NAMI Minnesota Conference
St Paul RiverCentre, St Paul, MN  

February 8 - 9, 2018
5th Global Mental Health Summit
Johannesburg, South Africa
Keynote and Panel Presentation by Gayathri Ramprasad
Please click here to learn more and register 


DO YOU HAVE A RECOVERY STORY?
Stories have the power to inform, inspire and transform lives. 
If you have a recovery story, please  submit your story today. Your story will  give HOPE to people struggling with mental health issues around the world, and inspire them to recover and rebuild a healthy, meaningful, productive life.
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