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Mountain Lake

History and Achievements


National Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Mental Health Day

May 2021 - In partnership with the Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Congresswoman Chu submitted a historic resolution to Congress designating May 10, 2021 as ‘‘National Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Mental Health Day’’.

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Forest Trees

Shining a Light on API Mental Health and COVID-19

Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the mental health of countless individuals, including Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. For some it may trigger an old trauma and PTSD associated with being a refugee or immigrant.  Some may experience severe depression due to the loss of a  job or isolation from one’s support system because of social distancing. Sadly, there also continues to be the emotional trauma brought on by racist attacks on AANHPIs.   Mental health has always been a part of our lives but has often been ignored or brushed aside and not talked about.  Hopefully there is a growing acceptance that seeking mental health help is not only ok, it is often the wisest decision a person can make.  

Since May is both API Heritage Month as well as Mental Health Awareness Month, NAAPIMHA and its partners will host a national round table to discuss the mental health impact of COVID-19 on AANHPI communities.  Please see the attached flyer and register for this important and timely round table.  While we must address the serious problems our communities are facing, it is also important to celebrate who we are as Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders…..this too is mental HEALTH.

Annie E. Casey Foundation Best Practices Directory

Early funding for NAAPIMHA came from the Annie E. Casey Foundation to compile a directory of promising and best practices models of programs that provide services for AAPI youth and families. NAAPIMHA identified ten programs from around the country that represented various ethnic specific programs designed to work with AAPI youth and families. This served as the background for the annual conference that convenes service providers, evaluators and youth.

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Annual Youth Best Practices Conference

NAAPIMHA received a CMHS Conference Grant for fiscal years 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 with the hope of this becoming an annual event. The intent of the conference was to develop a national network of service providers and evaluators to develop best practices models in working with at risk AAPI youth and families.  Historically, agencies have only been able to meet with other agencies if they receive the same federal funding.  The format provided for active exchange of program design, implementation strategies and evaluation efforts.  There is also a youth track to develop national leadership among the youth who have been involved in various programs themselves.


Workforce Training

Workforce development is a major focus of  NAAPIMHA’s efforts. In 2002, NAAPIMHA, received one of four Workforce Training Grants from CMHS to reduce disparities in quality care for diverse population.  TheGrowing Our Owncurriculum is the first national effort to develop a core training curriculum for AAPIs.  It is cross disciplinary in nature and encompasses psychiatry, psychology, social work and counseling and is being implemented at six sites in Hawaii, Seattle, Denver, New York City, and two sites in San Francisco.  NAAPIMHA, in conjunction with UCSF Medical School is also developing an evaluation tool that utilizes Standardized Patient (SP) protocols that can be used to assess the clinical skills of the interns.  Often utilized in medical school training, the SP has yet to be tested in the mental health arena and holds great promise as an effective tool in assessing cultural competency for therapists in training.   Preliminary results from the evaluation are very promising.  TheGrowing Our Owncurriculum is based on the DSM IV Cultural Formulation that provides a rich theoretical framework in making culturally appropriate assessments, diagnosis and treatment plans.  This model can serve as a template for training efforts of NAMBHA in an effort to help address the workforce problem faced by the communities represented by the Alliance

In addition to the Workforce Training grant, NAAPIMHA is actively involved with the Annapolis Coalition On Behavioral Health Workforce Education to identify training efforts around the country.  NAAPIMHA is able to draw on its experience developing training materials to address challenges and opportunities for capacity building with diverse populations.


Fact Sheets

Fact sheets on Schizophrenia, Bi-polar Disorders and Major Depression have been translated into Vietnamese, Chinese, Khmer, Korean and Hmong.  Based on the sheets developed by consumers and the Texas State Department of MHMR, the fact sheets are designed to be consumer friendly and easily understood by non-clinicians.

Glossary of Mental Health Terms

Building on the compilation of glossary of mental health terms in various languages developed by The Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Center in 2000, NAAPIMHA has made the glossary available in English, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Korean, and Laotian.

Bibliography of articles on AAPI mental health

NAAPIMHA has compiled an annotated bibliography of over 1500 citations from psychology, psychiatry, social work and counseling from 1990 to 2003.  Citations can be cross referenced by author and key words, e.g. ethnicity, trauma, women, etc.


AAPI Consumer’s Advisory Board

NAAPIMHA is developing a national Consumer’s Advisory Board.  Focus groups were held at each of the training sites for the Workforce Training grant.  Feedback from the consumers provided the foundation for theGrowing Our Own curriculum and evaluation.  It is the intention of NAAPIMHA to develop a strong consumer voice.

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Call To Action:Platform for Asian Pacific Americans National Policy Priorities 2004

NAAPIMHA worked with other national AAPI organizations to develop a national platform to inform elected officials on the urgent needs of the communities relating to health, mental health, housing, employment, labor, immigration, and civil rights and other critical areas.

Technical Assistance

NAAPIMHA provides technical assistance to community based organizations on the design, implementation and evaluation of culturally competent service programs and interventions.  TA includes doing a systems needs assessment, developing an appropriate logic model, identifying appropriate evaluation goals, objectives and outcomes as well as learning how to write grants competitive grants that focuses on the mission of the agency and addresses a critical need in the community.

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Interpreter’s manual for mental health

Accurate interpretation is a critical aspect of providing quality mental health services for persons with limited English proficiency.  NAAPIMHA and the National Latino Behavioral Health Association, in conjunction with the state of California and Texas, developed a manual to train interpreters on the assisting service providers in working with LEP individuals.

Flower Blossoms

Roundtable Discussions

Accurate interpretation is a critical aspect of providing quality mental health services for persons with limited English proficiency.  NAAPIMHA and the National Latino Behavioral Health Association, in conjunction with the state of California and Texas, developed a manual to train interpreters on the assisting service providers in working with LEP individuals.

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