Friday, May 26, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Asian Mental Health Collective

On the last Feel Good Friday of May, a month dedicated to both Asian American Pacific Islander heritage and mental health awareness, we’re highlighting an organization that addresses both themes, the Asian Mental Health Collective.

Founded in 2020, the mission of the Asian Mental Health Collective (AMHC) is “to normalize and de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community.” 

The reason to focus on Asian mental health is explained on their website. “Culture influences our values, beliefs, and norms. For the Asian diaspora, many find that these aspects of our culture are barriers to identifying, discussing and accessing mental health literacy and resources.” This short video explains some of the challenges Asians face, including the model minority myth, acculturation differences and stigma around going to therapy.

For people who have overcome concerns about not showing weakness or being seen as ungrateful for what they have, AMHC has provider directories where you can search for Asian therapists in the United States and Canada. Once you find someone in your location, you can review their background and any specialty focus areas.

In order to help achieve their vision to “make mental health easily available, approachable, and accessible to Asian communities worldwide”, AMHC has several ways to get support virtually. You can join their private Facebook group, review videos of past meetings on their YouTube channel, or browse their resource library of hotlines and organizations dedicated to mental health in the Asian community. AMHC also offers access to support groups led by Asian therapists. Each group lasts for 8 weeks and there is no cost to attend the sessions.

To help the Asian Mental Health Collective continue their work, you can shop for merch, make a donation and help raise awareness on your favorite social media platform. Follow Asian Mental Health Collective on Facebook and on Instagram @asianmentalhealthcollective

Friday, May 19, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Mental Health America

May is Mental Health Month. It started as a week and was first launched in 1949 by Mental Health America. Sounds like a perfect time to learn more about this organization. 

Founded in 1909 by Clifford W. Beers, Mental Health America (MHA) is “the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all.” Or, as they succinctly put it on their social media sites, “Mental Health America is dedicated to helping people live mentally healthier lives.”

MHA is headquartered in Virginia with over 200 affiliates around the country. Their work is focused in three main areas: 

Education and outreach. Mental health conditions affect one in five adults in the United States every year. MHA encourages conversations about mental health that are free from stigma while also providing comprehensive and accurate information about mental health. They have screening tools to help you asses whether you’re experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition, self-help tools to address your mental health, and specialized toolkits, like this one focused on students heading back to school.

Public policy. MHA designs federal and state policy recommendations that promote: prevention for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care and treatment for those who need it, and recovery as the goal. If you’d like to learn more you can read through their position statements.

Peer advocacy, supports and services. If you have the appropriate experience and training you can get certified as a peer specialist and work alongside healthcare teams. There are also peer support groups around the country you can join.

Once you’ve finished reading through all the resources MHA has on their website, take a moment to support their work. You can shop for merch, volunteer your time, donate your money and help raise awareness on your favorite social media platform. Follow Mental Health America on Facebook, on Twitter @MentalHealthAM, and on Instagram @mentalhealthamerica. #MentalHealthMonth 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Chinese Progressive Association

May is Asian American and Pacific Island (AAPI) Heritage Month and we’re celebrating with the Chinese Progressive Association.

Founded in 1972 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) “educates, organizes and empowers the low income and working class immigrant Chinese community in San Francisco to build collective power with other oppressed communities to demand better living and working conditions and justice for all people.”

San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest in North America and, according to the latest census data, residents of Chinese ethnicity make up 21% of San Francisco’s population. The work being done by CPA targets the low income and working class immigrant Chinese community in the city and focuses on community education and organizing, leadership development, and alliance and movement building.

The Tenant Worker Center helps organize tenants to improve their housing conditions, and educates workers to improve their working conditions and achieve economic justice. In 2014, CPA and the Asian Law Caucus helped 280 workers at popular dim sum restaurant Yank Sing win over 4 million dollars in back pay. You can watch this 3-minute video to learn more. To date CPA has helped low wage workers recover over $8 million in owed wages.

CPA also runs a leadership development program for high school students called Youth Mojo (Movement of Justice and Organizing). The work these students do on social issues helps them develop their leadership, public speaking, advocacy and organizing skills.

In 2014, CPA launched Seeding Change, a project designed to grow a national Asian American movement to promote a just, sustainable, and democratic society. Their work includes “building a national pipeline for the next generation of AAPI organizers; creating an infrastructure for AAPI grassroots organizing; and experimenting with building power and scale for our movements toward a vibrant social and economic justice movement.”

Finally, CPA plays an active role in local, statewide, and national alliances to increase the civic engagement of working and immigrant families.

If you’d like to support the work being done by CPA, there are many ways to do so. Volunteer your time, donate your money and help raise awareness of the issues on your favorite social media platform. Follow the Chinese Progressive Association on Facebook, on Twitter @CPASF and Instagram @chineseprogressiveassociation.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Feel Good Friday - Latino Victory

Today’s Feel Good Friday falls on Cinco de Mayo, the annual commemoration of Mexico’s victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla. That’s not the only Latino Victory we’re celebrating today.

In 2014, Eva Longoria and Henry R. Munoz III founded Latino Victory, an organization “dedicated to building political power in the Latino community so that the voices and values of Latinos are reflected at every level of government and in the policies that drive our country forward.” 

Latinos make up 18% of the population in the United States, but only one percent of all elected officials. Latino Victory works to empower voters, develop a donor pipeline, and create a candidate bench through the work of three entities: Latino Victory Fund, Latino Victory Project, and Latino Victory Foundation.

The Latino Victory Fund supports progressive Latino candidates in local, state and federal elections. Since 2014, they have endorsed 208 candidates and helped 108 candidates get elected. You can check the candidate page to see who Latino Victory is currently endorsing.

The Latino Victory Project engages Latino voters to support progressive leaders and develops leaders for public office. Their YouTube channel has many videos covering candidates and issues. The Latino Victory Foundation engages in research, non-partisan civic engagement, strategic communications and leadership development. Their aim is to raise awareness about Latinos’ contributions to the United States and build greater understanding between Latinos and other communities.

If you’d like to support Latino Victory and their work, the best way to so is with a donation. You can also help raise awareness of their organization and the candidates they’re endorsing on your favorite social media platform. Follow Latino Victory on Facebook, on Twitter @latinovictoryus and Instagram @latinovictoryus. ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!