Karen Mok, Co-founder of Wellness Community The Cosmos on Asian Mental Health & How the Trauma of Anti-Asian Hate & Violence Affects Her Community

“Even though the search was more difficult, I knew that a big part of my trauma was racial trauma, and I needed someone who would not question that part of my experience. I understood that lack of culturally relevant care was a major reason why Asian Americans do not seek mental health care; I saw that in my own family.”

Richie Cartwright, Co-Founder of Fella on Opening Up To Family About Binge Eating, Men’s Mental Health, and Stigmas Keeping Us from Seeking Treatment

“Most of our Fellas are either overweight, or very overweight. There’s a case of when both partners are bigger, and one partner struggles with binge eating and one won’t, and the partner doesn’t acknowledge the partner’s struggles. The interaction is very much like, ‘well, we just eat CRISPS every day’ and the partner with binge eating is like, ‘well, no. I actually do all this hidden stuff as well’.”

Roy Dahildahil, Executive Director of #MentalHealthPH on Mental Health in the Philippines, LGBTQ Mental Health, and the 3S and 3O Framework for Delivering Impactful Mental Healthcare

“At this time, no new laws are being lobbied in mental health; we’re primarily focusing on ensuring the Mental Health Act is executed properly and that there is proper implementation at the local-level. Like many laws enacted in the Philippines, without continuous monitoring and oversight, the national laws will fail to trickle down to the grassroots level, so that’s where the work of our organizations come in.”

Freakquencee on Manifesting Affirmations, the Real Influence of Trauma on Her Life, and Mental Health in the Family Sphere

“I grew up in a household where discussing mental health wasn’t really a thing. As a child in my household it always seemed like the more you held in, the stronger you looked in the eyes of everyone else. Talking about mental health is still something that isn’t easily done in my family. There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding seeking therapy/counseling, some that may have turned my family off completely from seeking mental health. Some like you have to have money to afford talking to a therapist, mental health is only for crazy people, and mental health only being a thing for white people. I also believe that my family as well as many people don’t really understand what practicing positive mental health looks like. Positive mental health can be as simple as reciting positive affirmations everyday, learning to say no when you don’t agree, drawing boundaries with family, friends and associates. Taking up that favorite hobby that makes you feel good, practicing positive self esteem, working out, practicing healthier eating habits, talking about your feelings and also checking yourself when you do negative things as a human or things that may hurt others. I believe my family has to discover these truths on their own.”

Samantha Huggins on Her Wellness Regimen, Openness Versus Vulnerability, and Mental Health in Schools

“I do believe that today’s educational institutions are built to support conversations amongst youths about mental health and inclusivity. There are far more resources for students than when I was in school at the time. In one of my classes I recall spending the first half of the sessions discussing mental health and university outlets for the students if they needed any. I think credit should be given to this generation for that change. They have been at the forefront of mental health and more accepting of the concept than their older cohorts. As for the faculty, there are mandatory training courses for Diversity and Inclusivity for Professors and Directors. We have to take these courses and be “certified” every year before the school semester begins. This is all geared to be of better service to the student body. With that being said, I don’t think there is enough mental health support for the faculty. That is something that can be improved.”

Chanel Tyler on Her Mental Health & Wellness Regimen, Diversity, Tokenizing the Black Community, and Communal Empowerment

What are some sources or tools that you believe have impacted your wellbeing?
“I do believe that today’s educational institutions are built to support conversations amongst youths about mental health and inclusivity. There are far more resources for students than when I was in school at the time. In one of my classes I recall spending the first half of the sessions discussing mental health and university outlets for the students if they needed any. I think credit should be given to this generation for that change. They have been at the forefront of mental health and more accepting of the concept than their older cohorts. As for the faculty, there are mandatory training courses for Diversity and Inclusivity for Professors and Directors. We have to take these courses and be “certified” every year before the school semester begins. This is all geared to be of better service to the student body. With that being said, I don’t think there is enough mental health support for the faculty. That is something that can be improved.”

Victoria Wong on Self-Awareness, Work – Life Balance in the Fashion Industry, & Her Mental Health Journey with Food

“I have a weird relationship with food, and it’s an issue that I’m working on improving. It’s something I’ve struggled with since high school and I can admit, I have good days and bad days. Even now. I didn’t really talk about it with anyone at first; it was a little shameful you know? I mean, I still don’t really, but working on it and it’s helped. At the time, because I wasn’t eating, I was getting into a lot of fights with my family, becoming anti-social and overall, just unhappy with everything. I didn’t go out at all, didn’t see friends, and if I did, I would really beat myself up the next day about it. Opening up about my issue the first time really helped… I think talking about it made it real, and forced me to acknowledge and reflect on what was I doing to myself.”