Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives
January 2014


Where there is hope, there is life. Yet, most of us struggling through a chronic illness - mental or physical, lose hope and often believe that we will never get well again. But, hope is an essential element to healing. It was a chance encounter with a woman who came to visit me at the hospital, that gave me hope, and paved the path to a life filled with hope and healing. As she held me in her arms and shared her struggles with depression, and her road to recovery, I felt HOPE for the first time in a decade. And, the little voice in me whispered "maybe I can get well too." 


Hope is the belief that circumstances will get better. It's not a wish for things to get better -- it's the knowledge that things will get better, no matter what. Hope is the faith in our inherent resilience to overcome obstacles, and persistence in our actions to realize our goals.


So, as you embark on a new year, I wish you HOPE to overcome any obstacles that you may encounter, and thrive again!


Wishing you wellness, 


Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS
Founder & President, ASHA International
Gayathri Signature
The Mind-Body Connection:
Activating the Healing Power of Hope    

The role of the mind body connection in healing is a hot topic these days. It is intriguing to think of the ways that the mind may be able to assist in healing the body. Holding the belief that we can get better often produces measurable results. And certainly, a belief that we will not get better leaves little room for improvement as we get caught in a cycle of negative thinking. Hope is an essential element to healing.


Professor Nancy E. Snow, wrote in the University of Chicago Science of Virtue research project "Hope in all of its complexity has been widely found to be beneficial to persons suffering from physical and mental illness, whether in the process of recovery and cure..." So exactly, how is this possible? If hope is only the beginning of healing, how can we generate enough hope to override pain and illness in the first place? Read more...  


SHADOWS IN THE SUN is a first-of-its-kind, cross-cultural lens to mental illness through the inspiring story of Gayathri's thirty-year battle with depression. This literary memoir takes readers from her childhood in India where depression is thought to be a curse, to life in America where she eventually finds the light within by drawing on both her rich Hindu heritage and Western medicine to find healing.


Shadows in the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad - Book Trailer
Shadows in the Sun by Gayathri Ramprasad - Book Trailer
In This Issue
Activating the Healing Power of Hope
Real People, Real Recovery
The Anatomy of Hope
About Us
Real People, Real Recovery
Profiles of Courage, Hope & Resilience 

Lisa Halpern

For years, Lisa Halpern says she was able to explain away and conceal the early warning signs of psychosis. When she hid in her college dorm room, with towels stuffed under the door and black paper over the peephole, she was just "antisocial." Later, when she was a Harvard graduate student who became unable to read, shower or leave her apartment, she thought she might have a brain tumor. She didn't tell the neurologist who scanned her brain - and found no tumor - that she was also hearing voices. Although it took Lisa at least six years to get the right diagnosis: schizophrenia, her story is ultimately hopeful - at age 40, she is doing well with the help of her family, her therapist and medication. Today, she is director of recovery services at Vinfen, a non-profit agency that assists people with mental illnesses and disabilities transform their life.


I recently asked Lisa what had helped her heal. And, she said, Hope - hope that her family and physicians held for her recovery, even when she could not. 


To read about Lisa's inspiring journey to recovery, click here...

The Anatomy of Hope
by Jerome Groopman, M.D.

Why do some people find and sustain hope during difficult circumstances, while others do not? What can we learn from those who do, and how is their example applicable to our own lives? The Anatomy of Hope is a journey of inspiring discovery, spanning some thirty years of Dr. Jerome Groopman's practice, during which he encountered many extraordinary people and sought to answer these questions. Read more...


ASHA International: Bringing hope and healing to people's lives.
About Us:
ASHA International's mission is to promote personal, organizational, and community wellness through mental health education, training, and support.

You can make a difference!

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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.