AAPI Table Talk YouTube Series: Get to Know the Panelists
AAPI Table Talk YouTube Series: Mental health and stigma in the Asian American Pacific Islander community with OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates and Nancy Xiong
Join us on May 24, 2021, for a gathering of clinicians and community members with lived experiences to discuss their perspectives and experiences on mental health, trauma, and racial tensions in the Asian American Pacific Islander community. This prerecorded table talk will be an intimate conversation where each member shares their perspectives on life as we address myths and stereotypes in the AAPI community around mental health. This event is in collaboration with OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates and Nancy Xiong, a community advocate and organizer in the Hmong community. Learn more here.
In preparation for this event, get to know the speakers from Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center, along with special guests Nancy Xiong and OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates Aarati Ghimire and Mabel Menard.
Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center staff
Crystal Chen, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT, LMHC-A
Crystal Chen is a board-certified Creative Arts Therapist, currently working at Washington Eating Recovery Center as a Primary Therapist on the children & adolescent team. Previously she worked with Chinese speaking women and children victims of gender-based and intimate partner violence. She is an advocate for women's rights and advocates for greater awareness of mental health among the AAPI community. She has spoken at two United Nations Parallel NGO CSW conferences in New York, at the 4th World Conference of Women's Shelter in Taiwan, most recently in January 2021 at the ACS Human Trafficking Conference in New York and is a Pratt Taconic Fellow. With her Pratt Taconic Fellowship, she developed an art therapy program, known as Garden of Gems, a project that combines art therapy with jewelry making to provide a sense of community and economic empowerment for Chinese immigrant women.
Wynonna (she/her) is a Chinese-Indonesian woman who is passionate about the intersectionality between racial and cultural identities and mental health. She completed her master’s degree in clinical counseling and art therapy from Adler University in Chicago. She is currently working with adults with mood and anxiety disorders at Pathlight in Seattle. Wynonna identifies as a Third Culture Kid (TCK); she was born and raised in Indonesia, moved to Singapore during her high school years, and immigrated to the United States in the pursuit of higher education. As a TCK, she experiences the complexities of holding multiple cultural identities that play a role in her sense of self and belonging within a community, which are essential factors to her mental well-being. Growing up, mental health was a highly stigmatized topic within her family and communities. Wynonna learned about the importance of mental health during her college years, and this sparked her interest in pursuing a career within the field. She is passionate about advocating for BIPOC’s mental health through community engagement and outreach.
Shawn is a second-generation Vietnamese American. He graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Social Work and at University of Washington with an Advanced Standing Master of Social Work, mental health concentration. He is currently on scholarship as an expressive arts therapy student at Northwest Creative & Expressive Arts Institute and is an associate clinical social worker. Being a first-generation student himself, he is passionate about mental health advocacy for first-generation students, international students, and immigrants. Before working at Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood & Anxiety Center as the West Coast Alumni & Family Liaison, he worked predominantly in immigrant populations and first-gen students at grassroots nonprofits, culturally-specific agencies, and affordable housing. One of his most notable experiences in his career was traveling to Tokyo, Japan and working with university students on culture shock. During his work and volunteerism in Japan, he was able to assimilate into the culture and learn about mental health from a new perspective.
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates is dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Founded in 1973, OCA–Asian Pacific American Advocates is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit, membership-driven organization based in Washington, D.C. with over 50 chapters and affiliates around the country. Touching hundreds of thousands of AAPIs each year, OCA works with its organizational partners, members, chapters, and supporters to empower the next generation of leaders.
“I come from the country of beautiful mountains Nepal. I immigrated to the States in 2010 and have loved staying in Utah ever since. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I earned both my bachelors and master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah. Tackling mental health on a personal and familial level, I understand the importance of having safe space to process these experiences. Hence, comes the passion for mental health and providing services on a professional level. I am very humanistic in my approach to treating mental health issues. Along with that, I am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT).
I also believe therapy should not have one mere focus on a micro level but needs to move beyond and understand the complexities of a person from macro and mezzo level. My approach in therapy is inspired from a multicultural, strength based and trauma informed lens. In addition, I provide special insights on issues with diversity such as acculturation, immigration, resettlement etc. and its correlation with mental health. I speak three languages (Nepali, Hindi and English). In my free time, I enjoy folk dancing and exploring the mountains of Utah.”
Mabel Menard is the President for OCA Greater Chicago, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the economic, professional, and social well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the Greater Chicago area. She is the former Executive Director for the Chinese American Museum of Chicago. She has served as its Board Secretary and is currently the Board Vice President. She received her Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Social Science and Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Radford University, Radford, Virginia. She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from, and was a PsyD ABD at, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, Illinois. She also received her MBA in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix. Her lengthy career includes retail management, Human Resources, higher education, nonprofit boards, and social service administration. She currently works for a mental health service agency that works with adults with severe and chronic mental illnesses. Her clinical area of expertise is psychiatric rehabilitation