asha international mental health

We Give Hope


At ASHA International, we are grateful for the diverse expertise of our Board. Each member of the Board of Directors brings with them knowledge and experience that has contributed to the advancement and support of ASHA International’s mission, and the global community we serve.

Gayathri Ramprasad

Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS Founder and President

Gayathri is the Founder and President of ASHA International, and the author of Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within. Her successful battle in overcoming debilitating depression taught her the power of hope and holistic wellness. Now, she shares that message with others. Since the launch of ASHA International’s wellness campaign, Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives in 2006, Gayathri’s keynotes, wellness workshops, and cultural competence training’s have reached more than 50,000 people nationally and internationally with a resounding message of hope and recovery. Individuals and organizations alike applaud Gayathri as an agent of hope and transformational change.

Gayathri received her first undergraduate degree in science from Bangalore University in India. She earned a second undergraduate degree in Management and Business Information systems and a Master’s in Business Administration at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon. Gayathri is also a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS).

Gayathri is the winner of many prestigious awards including the Eli Lilly Welcome Back Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Voice Award for Consumer Leadership sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Outstanding Alumna Award from her alma mater George Fox University, the Esperanza Hope Award, and the Lifetime Innovator award presented by the International Association of Peer Supporters.

To see Gayathri’s TED talk Be the Hope, please click here…

Kathy Van Riesen

Kathy Van Riesen, Secretary

Kathy has a degree in Computer Science from University of California, Irvine and has worked in the high-tech industry for over 30 years. She is currently a Program Manager at Tektronix in Portland, OR, and enjoys the “soft” skills side of building a product development team.

After experiencing the painful impact of anxiety and depression in her own family, Kathy was inspired by Gayathri and her vision for wellness. As a Founding member of ASHA International, Kathy wants to particularly help reduce the stigma and ignorance surrounding mental illness. She finds inspiration working with the ASHA International board in spreading the message of Wellness and Recovery.


Kellie Monahan, Treasurer

Kellie Monahan has worked in the accounting field since 1982. She is employed as a Senior Associate with Susan Matlack Jones and Associates in Portland, Oregon, which specializes in bookkeeping and financial statements for non-profit organizations. Originally from Santa Cruz, California, where she raised two children and served her community in many volunteer capacities, she moved to Portland in 2015 to pursue new life adventures. She enjoys painting and writing and walking in nature and neighborhoods.

Kellie has a special interest in supporting the mission of ASHA International because of her lifelong experience with depression and anxiety, her daily efforts toward creating a life of wellness, and her concern for others who face the same challenges.

Saramati Krishna

Saramati Krishna, MD Director

Saramati has been serving her community in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology for over a decade. She is a multi-culturist – she spent a high-school year in India, dual-majored in French Language and Biology during her undergraduate degree, spent a semester in France, has taken courses in Mexico, and speaks 5 languages. This, along with her ethnic background, gives her the special privilege of building bonds with her patients and their families that span cultures.

She has seen the devastating effects of untreated mental illness, both through personal and professional experience. She believes that health of the mind cannot be separated from health of the body and recognizing this allows people to experience maximal well-being.

Saramati was inspired to serve on the Board of ASHA International after reading Gayathri’s memoir, Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within. She fears that many women coming into her office are faced with the same barriers to mental health services that Gayathri encountered, and wants to help fill that gaping hole in resources for mental health care.


Deeksha Thati, MS Director

Originally from India, Deeksha moved to U.S. in Fall 2010 to pursue her graduate studies in Biostatistics in the School of Public Health at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Since her graduation, she has been working as a health care analyst.

Deeksha was truly inspired by ASHA International’s mission to provide hope and support to people struggling with mental health conditions and their families and is honored to serve on the Board.



Kathy Gomez, Director

Kathy is a wife, mom, and NIKE Executive. She thrives on creative collaboration and is committed to using her very small sphere of influence to make the world a better place for her kids, family, friends and colleagues. Kathy believes small things can lead to big change using vision, leadership and meaningful connections. A native of Massachusetts, Kathy has a BA in Spanish from the University of New Hampshire and has lived and worked in New England, Miami, Atlanta, and Western Europe before landing in Portland, OR.

Kathy believes mental wellness at work, home, school or on the playing field is a cornerstone of a thriving and productive community. She is thrilled to join the ASHA International board and is committed to spreading awareness and resources promoting mental wellness.

Aaron Babbie, Director

Aaron spent 16 years working in sales and marketing leadership roles for Hyatt, Starwood and Provenance Hotels. From 2010-18, Aaron served as Vice President, leading business development, operations and strategic partnerships for Sparkloft Media, a social media marketing agency. He currently serves as the Director of Engagement for The SPOON Foundation. 

Aaron sees the normalization of mental health in society as a critical public health challenge.

And, believes that rebranding mental health, starts with creating a safe environment for people to tell their stories, just as ASHA International is doing.  Aaron wants to help ASHA International communicate the value of its mission to new audiences and partners.

John Boylston

John Boylston, J.D. Director

John is an Oregon native. He grew up in Beaverton and now lives in King City with his wife Ana Lauren. John is an estate planning attorney at the law firm of Myatt & Bell where he works with families to create customized estate plans to fit each unique family. In that work, John regularly works with individuals who struggle with mental illness and the family members who love them. Additionally, John has seen how prevalent mental illness is among professionals in the legal field, yet how little it is talked about and understood.

In addition to his work with ASHA International, John is an elected member of the City Council for King City, a Trustee of the Oregon Historical Society, a Founder of Emerging Leaders for Oregon, and a Board Member of HispanicPros.

John joined the ASHA International board because he believes that we can do much more to educate the public on mental health issues, treatment, and resources. As a professional who has suffered from anxiety himself, John knows how hard it can be to talk about these issues, but also how beneficial it can be once we do share our struggles and seek treatment. John’s goal is to help spread ASHA International’s vision and resources in professional settings, to encourage professionals to seek treatment, and to help de-stigmatize mental illness.


Kalindi Kapadia Member, Advisory Board

Kalindi is a Licensed professional counselor and a certified alcohol and drug counselor in the State of Oregon. She has 13 years of work experience in the field of addictions and mental health. Kalindi received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from St. Francis College, in Hyderabad, India, and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India. She also has a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Madison New Jersey. Kalindi has published research on multicultural issues in counseling and attachment theory. She currently works for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and also has a private practice in Portland, Oregon.

Kalindi says “I joined ASHA International because the message deeply resonates with me and I want to serve on the Board and assist and support as needed. I find that ASHA International represents two very important aspects of mental health to me. First being multicultural and second being awareness and advocacy. ASHA International’s mission is global and it truly is a much needed service in today’s society.”

James K. Boehnlein

James K. Boehnlein, M.D., M.S.C. Member, Advisory Board

After completing psychiatry residency training at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR, Dr. James K. Boehnlein was a VA/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia VA Medical Center, where he received his Master’s Degree in medical anthropology.  He has been Associate Director for Education for the VA Northwest Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) since its inception in 1998, and has been the Director of Medical Student Education for OHSU’s Department of Psychiatry since 1993. He served as OHSU’s Assistant Dean for Curriculum from 1997-2005.

Since 1987, he has been a staff psychiatrist at the Portland VAMC Mental Health Clinic and at OHSU’s Intercultural Psychiatric Program, where he has treated Southeast Asian and Central American refugees. His research has focused on cross-cultural psychiatry (particularly cultural and anthropological perspectives on post-traumatic stress disorder and long-term adjustment of traumatized refugees), the interface of culture and medical ethics, spiritual issues in psychiatry and psychological trauma, and on medical education. He is board certified in both general and forensic psychiatry.

He is currently President of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, an international association of psychiatric and social science researchers and educators.

Larisa Klein

Larisa A. Klein M.A. Member, Advisory Board

Larisa is an Executive for a behavioral healthcare company. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and has directly cared for women, men, children and the elderly living with a mental illness or addiction with great compassion and care. She is proud to serve on the board for ASHA International and respects the approach of holistic wellness for those living with a mental illness or addiction.

Larisa says: “When I first met Gayathri and heard her story it made me realize why I have chosen to devote my career to the field of mental healthcare. I knew from the age of 18 years old God called me to be a light to those in need. I see ASHA International as that light and I am excited to see the mission of ASHA International succeed.”

Barbara Maloney

Barbara B. Maloney, PhD Member, Advisory Board

Dr. Barbara B. Maloney is an independent consultant in business and technical writing and communication. For over 25 years she has worked with organizations and individuals to establish and enhance better communication in the workplace. Barbara is an avid skier and scuba diver.

Meghan Caughey

Meghan Caughey, Member, Advisory Board

Meghan Caughey, M.A., M.F.A. is the Senior Director of Peer and Wellness Services for Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare in Portland, Oregon. She designs and implements wellness-informed peer service programs and works at the federal level as part of the SAMHSA Wellness Steering Committee and Subcommittee on Research and Evaluation. She is a national consultant to community and state mental health, public health, and primary care organizations on the design and implementation of wellness- informed peer support programs and peer workforce development. She has developed wellness and trauma-informed curricula and service programs as well as outcome measurement tools.

She is an instructor at Portland State University where she teaches the Peer Wellness Specialist training and she is a lecturer at Oregon Health Science University. She has served on the Oregon Medicaid Advisory Committee and currently serves on the Oregon Traditional Health Worker Commission. Ms Caughey has an MA in drawing and painting and a Master of Fine Art ( MFA) in pictorial art and her work has been featured in medical journals and textbooks. She is also a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner. Her essays have been published in Psychiatric Services, the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, and the Global Journal for Community Psychology Practice.

Her work in health system reform in Oregon helped create the legislative mandate for the use of peer wellness specialists in Coordinated Care Organizations. ( CCOs ).

She is passionate in her advocacy work as it is informed by her own personal experience of recovery from serious mental challenges.

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