SAATHI, a South-Asian Mental Health Outreach Program
Mental health is integral to our overall wellbeing, and the wellbeing of our families and communities. But, coping with stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions can be difficult and isolating. And, the cultural stigma and shame surrounding mental illness in the South-Asian community can prevent people from seeking help.
SAATHI, a South-Asian Mental Health Outreach Program of ASHA International aims to:
- Promote awareness about mental health and emotional wellbeing
- Improve access to care, &
- Connect people to community supports and wellness resources
The program supports people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan living in the Portland metropolitan area.
If you or your loved one is struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions, you are not alone.
We can help. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A member of our team will reach out to you within 48 hours.
Our team is dedicated to helping you access mental health care, and connect you to wellness resources in the community. Together, we can thrive.
In the case of a mental health emergency, please go to the closest Emergency Room or contact your county mental health crisis line:
Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS
Gayathri Ramprasad is the Founder and President of ASHA International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to destigmatizing mental illness and promoting mental health and wellness through the power of personal stories.
She is the author of Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within, a unique cross-cultural memoir of her journey from adversity to advocacy.
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 that have reached more than 50,000 people nationally and internationally with a resounding message of hope, recovery, and resilience.
As a woman who has overcome debilitating anxiety and depression, Gayathri is acutely aware of the impact of mental illness on individuals and families. As a woman cradled between the diametric cultures of India and America who has learned to overcome barriers of stigma and shame to seek treatment, she is dedicated to inspiring and empowering others on their road to recovery and wellness.
Saramati Krishna, M.D.
Dr. Saramati Krishna has been serving her community in the field of Obstetrics & 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 allows her to build special bonds with patients and families of diverse cultural backgrounds. Dr. Krishna 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 the health of the body, and recognizing this allows people to experience maximal well-being. She is uniquely positioned to understand the challenge of seeking care while simultaneously navigating cultural barriers. She believes that cultivating cultural responsiveness in the medical community along with educating patients about the role they play in their own health will improve outcomes and achieve patient satisfaction. To that end, she often serves as a resource to her friends and colleagues by sharing her expertise in culture and women’s health.
Ashwini Baitmangalkar, LPC
Ashwini is a licensed mental health therapist with graduate degrees from India and the United States. She has over 10 years’ experience as a clinician and currently works with Providence as a mental health therapist. Ashwini has actively volunteered for social causes since 1999 including participating in mental health advocacy programs and volunteering time and services as a mental health professional to populations in need.
Being on the front lines every day, Ashwini sees the impact of the lack of information, resources, and access to culturally responsive providers in the lives of South-Asians struggling with mental health conditions. Her experience in mental health care, expertise in South Asian culture, and her understanding of healthcare systems and resources available in the US puts her in an ideal position to help get people linked with services. She is well connected with culturally responsive providers and services in the community, has experience working with crisis services, and understands laws and rules governing healthcare in the US.
Varsha Ruparel, MS, NCC, LPC Intern
Varsha Ruparel holds a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, ‘National Certified Counselor’ Certification, and is currently a Clinical Therapist, PRN at Cedar Hills Hospital, Beaverton, OR. She also holds a degree in Management. Varsha strongly believes in strong communities and has been an active volunteer at social services and community development organizations including William Temple House and Chinmaya Mission Portland.
Prior to that, she volunteered at a rural development/education program in India for women and children. Varsha moved to the US from India in 2003 and has an intimate understanding of the challenges faced by the South Asian community in the US via first-hand experience and through community work. Varsha firmly believes in SAATHI’s mission of improving health and wellbeing of underserved communities via culturally responsive mental health services and is looking forward to helping the South Asian Community members overcome the struggles associated with mental health conditions.
Deeksha Thati, MS
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 firmly believes in breaking the silence and stigma associated with mental health conditions by raising awareness and connecting people to wellness groups and providing a support system. As a South-Asian herself, she looks forward to encouraging people in her community to speak up and to seek care.