Monday, January 19, 2015

MLE's Accomplishments from Sept '14 to Jan '15!!

I know it's been a while since I've written a blog... So I just wanted to let you know of my accomplishments since September 2014! So here goes!

In September 2014, 
- I helped to represent LACDMH & Each Mind Matters (EMM) at the "Stronger Together: California Colleges & Universities United for Student Mental Health" Conference to connected with school administrators & professors of different universities state-wide. During the EMM presentation, they showed this image of my EMM vignette! I was so happy when they displayed that picture of me!

- As NAMI San Gabriel Valley's appointed Chair of Programming from August to December '14, I was in charge of hosting, welcoming & emceeing the monthly general meetings & their educational series featuring Dr. Michael DiPaolo. In addition to emceeing, I provided numerous community brochures/flyers, prepared sign-in sheets, set-up, & cleaned up for a majority of these meetings. 

In October 2014, 
- For my 3rd time & for Mental Health Awareness Week, I was featured to be a guest speaker for NAMI's Mental Health Matters radio show with Host & President of NAMI Hunterdon, Larry Cartwright. That interview audio file can be found here:

- I attended my first LA County Board of Supervisors' meeting on 10/7/14 with Miguel Perla of Each Mind Matters for Supervisor Michael Antonovich recognizing the 11th Annual NAMI Walks.

- I was featured in LACDMH's eNews for having attended the LA County Board of Supervisors' meeting for Supervisor Michael Antonovich recognizing the 11th Annual NAMI Walks.
- I attended my first LA City Council meeting for their Proclamation of Oct 10th as World Mental Health Day. 

- I was featured again by LACDMH in their brief report re: the Proclamation of Oct 10th as World Mental Health Day at LA City Hall. For the recording of the Proclamation, you can find that here starting at 11:45! 
 - I served as the NAMI Walks & Each Mind Matters mascot! 

- I was keynote speaker (Believing in Me: My Journey to Finding My Self-Worth) & workshop presenter (Coping with Bullying & Developing Intervention Strategies) for LACDMH's 9th Annual Asian & Pacific Islander Hope & Recovery Conference.
- I was asked by Phil Yu (aka Angry Asian Man) to be the Angry Reader of the Week for Halloween Day!

In November 2014,
- I was a NAMI Ending the Silence Presenter with Letty Baldero at Verdugo Hills High School. There we spoke to 3 different classrooms about mental health. I shared my personal story of growing up with depression & also showed the EMM vignette as well! 

- I was invited & honored to speak at USC to share my personal story growing up with depression & how I've learned to help me help myself. 

In December 2014, 
- I completed the Coming Out Proud program with Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD). 
- I attended my 1st LA County Mental Health Commission Town Hall Meeting. As a resident of San Gabriel Valley (Service Area 3), I spoke before the commissioners to explain my challenges in Summer 2013 accessing affordable mental healthcare. I know it looks like I was crying, but I wasn't. I spoke out remembering the emotional struggle I endured. I made several points about community stigma & also explained that if I had a difficult time accessing affordable mental healthcare in English, imagine how difficult it would be for a person NOT fluent in English to navigate the system! My story had to be said because my experiences could be a similar to that of others!

- I was nominated for the WEGO Health Activist Awards here:

In January 2015, 
- featured my story on their website! =)

- I was selected for a two year term to make a difference at the state-level for the Client & Family Leadership Committee (CFLC) for the Mental Health Services Oversight & Accountability Commission (MHSOAC)
- I was selected to be 1 of 25 fellows for the Center for Dignity, Recovery and Empowerment Fellowship

- I was invited to speak at The Brightest Star's Coming Out Proud training to share my story. 

- I found out that my face is being used for the conference video to promote the "Together Against Stigma" Feb 17-20 Conference in San Francisco! 

- I spoke before the LA County Board of Supervisors to comment on how difficult it is for new clients to navigate the mental health system. Although I was only given a minute, they fortunately did not cut me off beyond the minute! Haha! Below is part of the transcript when I spoke.

- I completed the Emotional CPR 2-day training which was led by facilitators the National Empowerment Center, including Dr. Dan Fischer! 

- To recognize my efforts for the California Mental Health Movement, Each Mind Matters, I was given the official title of "Team Lead" for Each Mind Matters in Los Angeles! =)  

-  I was invited to the Monterey Park LAMP Optimist Club's meeting to share my story. When I was given only 20 minutes to speak, they let me go on for another 25 minutes! Haha! 

- Next things on my schedule are... 

1) Next Asian Coalition monthly meeting on Jan 23rd - I asked Suzanne Whang to be our next honored guest speaker to be our next profile of hope in recovery & healing. She is a television host, actor, stand-up comedian, emcee, keynote speaker, political activist, minister, radio host, published author, and stage 4 breast cancer thriver. She will be speaking about her mental health while dealing with breast cancer. Suzanne now is completely cancer-free. She is currently writing a book about her miraculous journey back to health.

2) Jan 24th speaking engagement at my alma mater UC Irvine for the 30th Annual Asian Pacific American Awareness Conference "What is Asian America?" scheduled for January 24th to do a workshop presentation called "Breaking Down the Walls of Perfectionism & Finding My Self-Worth."

3) Feb 2nd speaking engagement & panel speaker at UCLA's Illuminate: Underneath the Layers of Asian Pacific Islander Mental Health hosted by the Asian Pacific Coalition.

4) Feb 6 - Recovery International support group facilitator training event with students of USC Free Minds United