asha international mental health

We Give Hope

My Story My SUPERPOWER Storytelling Show was a huge success!

Thanks to everyone who attended our My Story My Superpower Storytelling Show on May 29th. What an inspiring event! It was an evening of laughter, tears and breaking down stereotypes. We are so grateful for our amazing storytellers who shared their mental health journey.   Sharing stories about mental health is hard, and at times, uncomfortable. Molly even asked the crowd if her story made them uncomfortable. She shared that there has never been any positive change without people feeling a little uncomfortable.   Dave’s story of how his family has managed his young daughter’s anxiety was moving. Each day may bring its own challenges but we must reflect that we all have things to be thankful for. He shared a quote, taken from the Berlin Wall that is now tattooed on his arm and provides him strength day to day.   “Right now, someone is dreaming of living your life.”   Mental health affects us all. Sharing stories is the best way we know to give hope.   With your support we are able to shine a light on mental health and end the stigma, one story at a time.   Please consider making a gift today to support ASHA International. Your contribution will allow us to bring our message of hope and well being to more people at school, in the workplace and in our community. Please click here to Give the Gift of Hope today!   Here is feedback from people who attended the event:   “The program last night was amazing. My daughter kept turning to me saying “that’s me!”. She just started seeing an anxiety...

Meet Our Storytellers

Stories connect and comfort us in our shared struggles, help us know that we are not alone, and give us HOPE to cope, survive and thrive. Personal stories have the power to save lives and create social change. On May 29, 2019, in celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month, ASHA International is delighted to present the My Story My SUPERPOWER storytelling show to shine a light on mental health & end stigma one story at a time. A diverse group of storytellers will share their journey of courage, hope and resilience to increase public awareness of mental health as an integral part of overall health and well-being. The event will be held at the Intel Hawthorne Farms Auditorium (HF3), 5200 NE Elam Young Pkwy, Hillsboro, OR 97124, from 7 – 9 PM. Admission is FREE. To RSVP, please email info@myasha.org                                                 Diane Kaufman, M.D. Diane is a child psychiatrist, poet, lyricist, and artist passionate about helping people transform trauma into creative resilience. She is an Arnold P. Gold Foundation “humanism in medicine” awardee. Amongst Diane’s many creative works, her story, “Bird That Wants to Fly,” inspired a children’s opera by Michael Raphael, performed by Trilogy: An Opera Company, and narrated by the actor, Danny Glover. Diane suffered trauma starting at a very young age, and experienced episodes of anxiety, depression, hypomania, mania, and suicidal ideation. She graduated magna cum laude and phi beta kappa from Mount Holyoke College. While attending Downstate Medical Center, Diane attempted suicide and required...
She did it to herself…

She did it to herself…

As former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi said, “Life is a continuous process of adjustment. “When my father suddenly passed away nearly twenty years ago, I never thought my privileged happy go lucky life would crash. Gradually, within two years, my mother’s mental state started to decline with clouded decision making, irritability, and her million-dollar-watt smile faded and eventually became non-existent. Hindu Priests manipulated the fact we are Brahmins, and created a paranoia in her delicate mind because they reassured her we did not perform my father’s rituals properly. Their solution was to instill fear at an emotional and financial price. My mom, my best friend, my sister suddenly felt like my enemy because we could not see eye to eye on anything, creating major meltdowns. It was impossible for me to comprehend what was happening. Was she severely depressed, brainwashed or just losing the plot. It was very challenging for me to confide in people because I was ashamed to air our “dirty laundry” in public or even admit my mom possibly had a mental illness. I wanted to cry for help, but people would say my mom is naïve and delicate like a flower. Fast forward nearly two decades, at the age of 69, my mom has been officially diagnosed with dementia, a disease of the mind.  Earlier this year, when I interacted with some Aunties and they inquired about my mom, and I told them about her diagnosis they said… she did it to herself. The fact is she did not do it to herself, nor does she deserve to go through this journey alone. Dementia particularly vascular dementia does require a medical diagnosis and sadly...

My Story, My Journey – By Subrina Singh

Subrina Singh is a passionate young writer and recently published her love story entitled, “Soniye” in the anthology of Sikh Love Stories, Her Name is Kaur. After completing her degree in Asian and Asian American Studies at Stony Brook University, she is now pursuing her Master’s Degree at Columbia University in South Asian Studies. More recently, she has become committed to using her experience with mental illness to help better the mental-health awareness within the South Asian community. She currently writes for BrownGirlMagazine.com & ZeeTV’s India.com. ASHA International salutes Subrina’s courage in sharing her...

An Interview with Vijay Shankar, MBA, Psy.D.

GAYATHRI: Vijay, what inspired you to switch careers from the corporate world to mental health? VIJAY: I had already spent 15 years in the corporate world. I had reached middle management level in a Fortune 500 company. My specialty was in strategic planning. While I found that to be challenging and interesting, I was looking for a change that would allow me to work at a one on one level helping individuals. At the same time my wife was going through her Masters in social work. Our discussions about the human experience resonated with me enough to motivate me to make the change. GAYATHRI: What forms of therapy do you provide and what are their unique benefits? VIJAY: My training has been in psychodynamic psychotherapy, Gestalt therapy, solution focused therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, traditional cognitive behavioral therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. The last three approaches fall under the overall umbrella of cognitive behavioral therapy.  In addition, I have been trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction which is meditation based. I have come to focus my practice in cognitive behavioral therapy. It is the gold standard and frontline treatment for most psychological conditions. I typically explain the three cognitive behavioral therapy approaches that I use to the patient and in most cases help the patient to decide which one resonates for her/him.  Traditional cognitive behavioral therapy tends appeal to those who lean towards pragmatism, logic and problem solving. Acceptance and commitment therapy, which has a strong mindfulness-based component, tends to appeal to those who are more interested in going beyond the immediate symptoms and working on bringing meaning and...
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