Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives
August 2013
ASHA InternationalIssue No.
During the early days of mental health treatment in America, asylums often restrained people who had mental illnesses with iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped.


In the early 1950s, Mental Health America issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles. On April 13, 1956, at the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, Md., Mental Health America melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope: the Mental Health Bell.


Now the symbol of Mental Health America, the 300-pound Bell serves as a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses. Today, the Mental Health Bell rings out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses.


While I celebrate the strides both science and society have taken to understand and treat mental illnesses, I am deeply saddened by the persistent stigma, discrimination and lack of affordable, accessible care which prevents millions of people struggling with mental health issues around the world from seeking life-saving treatment and support. Yet, as a mother and mental health advocate, I have faith in our collective ingenuity and resilience to create a world of equity, dignity, hope and humanity where every man, woman and child struggling with mental health issues are provided the love and support they need to thrive in life. 


In this newsletter, I am delighted to share the wonderful work of mental health advocates and advocacy organizations. Together, they are tearing down the insidious chains of stigma and discrimination, one day, one person at a time. As Toni Morrison once said, "The function of freedom is to free someone else." 


Wishing you wellness, 


Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS 
Founder & President, ASHA International
Gayathri Signature 
The Benefits of Advocacy: Healing through Empowerment
by Linea Johnson


"The unbelievable power of advocacy is an important part of my recovery. Through the last couple years of public speaking, writing, and completely baring my soul to thousands of strangers I have done exactly what Kim has done. I have learned and received far more from my audience then I have given."  

Read More... 

Becoming a Self-Advocatei

Speaking up and advocating for yourself can help you feel strong and take charge of your life. However, it is not always easy to have the confidence to go for it.


Making your own choices, big or small, can make a big difference in how you feel about yourself. This article will help you find your voice and make informed choices-even when you may not be at your best. Read more...

ASHA International: Bringing hope and healing to people's lives.
Dear friends, 
Please note that you are receiving this newsletter because you have subscribed to it, or, as a token of our appreciation for your valuable support. In case you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, please unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of the email. Thanks! 



Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS, is not a doctor, therapist or health care professional. She is a mental health advocate and Certified Peer Specialist (CPS). The information shared in this E-mail is for general information purposes only and therefore not intended to replace the medical advice afforded by physicians or other healthcare professionals. 


In This Issue
The Benefits of Advocacy
Becoming a Self-Advocate
Real People, Real Recovery
Profiles of Hope
Unpcoming Events
About Us
Real People, Real Recovery
Profiles of Courage, Hope & Resilience 
Patrick J. Kennedy discussed the need for mental health advocacy on
Patrick J. Kennedy discussed the need for mental health advocacy on "Katie" 2.4.13


In 2006, I met Patrick Kennedy at a National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) convention and was deeply inspired by the power of his advocacy. Over the years, we have presented at mental health conferences across America, and each time I meet and hear him speak, I am re-energized in my pursuits as a mental health advocate. Patrick Kennedy, the co-founder of One Mind for Research, served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and is predominantly known as the author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This dramatic piece of legislation provides access to mental health treatment to tens of millions of Americans who previously were denied care. To learn more about One Mind for Research and their valuable work, please click here... 
Change A Mind About Mental Illness
Change A Mind About Mental Illness
Bring Change 2 Mind
I have long been an ardent fan of Glenn Close, and was thrilled to meet Glenn and her sister, Jessie, at the 2012 Carter Center's Mental Health Symposium. Witnessing the love shared between the sisters and their determination to end stigma about mental illness, revived my faith in the power of people to change our world. I sincerely applaud their efforts and pledge my support to Bring Change 2 Mind. Learn more...
Profiles of Hope
Profiles of Hope: 60-Second PSA by Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH)
Profiles of Hope: 60-Second PSA by Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH)


September 21, 2013:

Mental Health & Wellness Conference - Presented by PEHCHAAN - University of South Florida Public Health Auditorium - Details TBA  


October 18, 2013: 
Culture Counts: Variations in Cultural Value Systems and Its Impact on Mental Health & Wellness - 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, DoubleTree Hotel (Cascade Ballroom) 1000 NE Multnomah Street Portland, Oregon 97232. Presented by Cedar Hills Hospital 


October 22, 2013:


Hidden Pictures: A Personal Journey into Global Mental Health - Film Screening - 12:00 - 1:00 PM, 8B60, 8th Floor, Oregon Health & Science University Hospital, Portland, OR


If you are interesting in participating in any of our upcoming programs, please contact Gayathri at 

ASHA International's mission is to promote personal, organizational, and community wellness through mental health education, training, and support.
You can make a difference!