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Cultural Sensitivity, Pregnancy, and Mental Health

Cultural Sensitivity, Pregnancy, and Mental Health

Originally  published on Psychology Today February 20, 2022  Interview with Dr. Saramati Krishna of Northwest Women’s Clinic in Portland, OR KEY POINTS Cultural sensitivity makes a difference in the relationship between patient and care provider I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Saramati Krishna, who is an OB-GYN with Northwest Women’s Clinic. We discussed cultural sensitivity and mental health for pregnant women. ML: As an OB-GYN who’s fluent in multiple languages, and advocating for mental health through ASHA International, what challenges do you see to a woman’s mental health while she’s pregnant? SK: I see lots of mental health issues affecting women. Being able to speak multiple languages is a window into the way other people view their mental health and are able to advocate for themselves. My ability to be able to partner with other people is so much better because of communicating in different languages. Sometimes there aren’t even words for some of the things people express. I have to come with an approximation for someone to say something like ‘depression’. In an Indian language, it wouldn’t come out as a direct translation. People may something like ‘my heart is sick’, or ‘I’m feeling heavy or low.’ So to be able to understand what that means and having that window into another culture is very powerful. ML: Wow! I could imagine. How often are pregnant women’s temporary mental illness challenges resolved with childbirth? SK: Childbirth is a stressful period of time in a lot of people’s lives. I don’t see them resolved very often when the baby is born. Childbirth isn’t a fix. A lot of times, it unmasks...
When the News Is Personal: Teens, Anxiety, and Depression

When the News Is Personal: Teens, Anxiety, and Depression

Originally  published on Psychology Today January 18, 2022  An interview with mental health beat reporter Genevieve Reaume. I had the pleasure of speaking with Genevieve Reaume, mental health beat reporter with KATU in Portland, Oregon, and board member of ASHA International. ML: Genevieve, what started your interest in mental health for youths? GR: Once I learned more about my mental health as a high schooler, I got more open about it, but I still struggled a lot. I resolved some issues as I grew older, but circled back when I was offered the spot to be lead reporter on KIB (Kind Is Better), which was KATU’s year-long initiative to focus on youth mental health. That’s when I dove into it. I was passionate for the project because, when I was a youth, I had no idea what I was going through and went undiagnosed for a long time. It was an incredible opportunity. The year was transformative for me but also for our viewers. The teaching in journalism school prior was to avoid reporting on suicide for fear of copycat suicides. We learned that was wrong. In Portland, we decided we’d cover it and talk to these families because it was happening too much. We talked with a lot of families, and it was an incredibly hard year. In some senses, it was triggering for me. It was a lot to handle. We learned how to cover this topic in an appropriate way. We had to forge our own path because there was no guidebook for us. We took the mental health professionals’ lead and tried our best. That’s how I got engaged,...
Making Anxiety, Depression, and Self-Harm Past-Tense

Making Anxiety, Depression, and Self-Harm Past-Tense

Originally  published on Psychology Today December 27, 2021  Part I: How Yamini Rajan overcame barriers to seek help. KEY POINTS Immigrants, especially youth, can experience serious challenges to their emotional stability. Having a counselor to mediate a difficult conversation with parents can be life-saving. ML: Yamini, you began to experience anxiety, depression, and self-harm pretty young. What were the barriers to seeking help? YR: I lived in India until I was 12; I didn’t know there was help. It’s not something that’s really talked about. I didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to feel that way. I just thought it was normal for a long time. Things built up to a breaking point. We moved to the US, and my mom was diagnosed with cancer about three months after. It was difficult being so young and halfway across the world and trying to figure out how to fit into a new school, who were going to be my friends. There were new teachers and an entirely new culture that I tried to navigate. My parents weren’t able to be as present as they would have liked because they had to focus on my mom’s health. I was very lonely, angry, and sad all at the same time. I didn’t want to say anything because the move wasn’t just tough on me; it was tough for my little sister who started at a new elementary school. My father started work. My parents were in their 40s; it’s not easy for anyone. What if I did speak up and no one understood? What if I was told I was being too sensitive? In my head, I thought:...
2021 Celebration of Hope was a great success!

2021 Celebration of Hope was a great success!

Every year, we look forward to celebrating the impact our donors, sponsors and storytellers have helped us have in our community and share our plans for the year ahead. We are so grateful to everyone who joined us at the virtual Celebration of Hope on October 7th – a night filled with inspiring stories of courage, hope and resilience. Thanks to all of you for helping us raise $39,600! We are only $400 away from meeting our goal of raising $40,000 to support our Let’s Talk About Mental Health program in schools. Your gift allows us to offer this program FREE to schools. There’s still time to make a difference in the lives of youth in our community. Donate online today at the link below. Together, we are creating communities of hope, empathy and inclusion where all children can learn and thrive. Thanks to our sponsor for their generous support!   Enjoy the videos from the 2021 Celebration of Hope! [embedyt]...
The Let’s Talk Student Mental Health Conference was an inspiring event!

The Let’s Talk Student Mental Health Conference was an inspiring event!

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/embed?listType=playlist&list=PLtxSrSEfyXJkqtL4Qm2m4ff54Rfv9HioQ&layout=gallery[/embedyt] The global pandemic has upended our lives and impacted our mental health and well-being. Students across the country and the world are experiencing increased mental distress due to the disruptions of school closures, activities, and maintaining social and physical distancing. Now more than ever, it is important to empower students to share their struggles and seek help. ASHA International & Dam Worth It Company have joined forces to have a conversation about mental health with high school students across the country. On Tuesday, May 18th students, teachers, administrators and families joined us at the Let's Talk – Virtual Student Mental Health Conference. Together, we had a real & powerful conversation around mental health. We were joined by ASHA International Storyteller Audrey Steele, Dam Worth It Student Speaker Sydney Guthrie-Baker, followed by Oregon State University Professor Ameer Jaber Almuaybid of General Psychology, and keynote speaker, Chelle Thompson (former NCAA & WNBA Champion). Each of the speakers shared their unique stories and offered tips and insights on how to cope with stress and cultivate resilience and well-being during these difficult times. It was an amazing event! Together, we are normalizing conversations about mental health and inspiring hope and well-being, one story at a time. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors for making this event...
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