Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives  
September 2014


For more than a decade of my life, I had struggled with debilitating anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Like millions of people around the world, I longed to discover a magic pill to cure my ills and promise me nirvana. But, despite taking many medications, ongoing psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECTs), hospitalizations and failed suicide attempts, wellness had remained a distant dream. The anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants worsened my symptoms, and made me more agitated, depressed and suicidal. And I was utterly confused why the medications that were supposed to alleviate my symptoms exacerbated them instead.


Staring out of the fifth-floor hospital window one day after yet another failed suicide attempt, I promised to take charge of my life and create a life of wellness. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I just wanted to be well.

Most of all, I wanted to be able to take my little girl to school, play with her in the park, and tuck her to bed at night with her favorite story.


Somewhere deep in my soul, I was convinced that the medications were making me sicker instead of helping me heal. So, despite my fears and those of my family, I decided to listen to my inner wisdom and wean myself off all medications under the supervision of my psychiatrist and explore holistic pathways to health and wellness.

Eventually,I learned that wellness does not come encapsulated in a pill; rather, it encompasses the way I live. And, in order to live in a state of complete wellness, I must integrate and ensure health in all dimensions of life: Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Social, Intellectual, Occupational, Financial, and Environmental.


Over the last twenty years, I have created a Personalized Wellness Action Plan that has helped me thrive despite recurrent bouts of depression.The daily practice of pranayama, Transcendental Meditation, journaling, and exercise, combined with proper nutrition, hydration, meaningful work, loving relationships, service, joyful hobbies, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and sleep have helped me thrive despite the stressors and setbacks of life.    


Although medications did not work for me, my brother and sister have been helped by them, just as millions of people around the world. I sincerely believe that each person is unique, and they should pursue their own path to wellness. And, even when medications help, holistic practices can enhance a person's overall wellbeing.


Regardless of whether you, your loved one, or the people you serve are struggling from depression, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, cultivating a life of holistic wellness provides us the resilience to heal and thrive. And, most importantly, a holistic lifestyle prevents illness and promotes wellness.


I invite you to take a few minutes, sit still, reflect on your life, and create your Wellness Action Plan. Stick to it and enjoy the many rewards of a healthy, vibrant life.  



Wishing you wellness, 


Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS
Founder & President, ASHA International
Gayathri Signature
A broken mind isn't a broken person

You are not your body: Janine Shepherd at TEDxKC
You are not your body: Janine Shepherd at TEDxKC
A week ago, I watched Janine's incredible TED Talk and wept with joy! After years of struggling with depression and many failed suicide attempts, confined in the seclusion room of a psychiatric ward, I realized that while mental illness can break my mind, and the mental health system can confine my body, there are no walls in this world that can contain my spirit. I learned that a broken mind isn't a broken person. And, that set me free to create a life beyond my wildest dreams. Janine's story is a reminder to all of us that no matter how broken our bodies, minds and lives are, our spirit can still soar. My dear friends, nurture the spirit within and soar beyond your fears to follow your dreams. They know the way.


by Gayathri Ramprasad


"This is not just a book for advocates of global mental health; it is a book for anyone who cares about human suffering and justice, and should serve as a call to arms for them to join the movement to achieve a better life for those living with mental illness today."


Vikram Patel

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; the Public Health Foundation of India; and Sangath 

Shadows in the Sun is now available at
Hazelden,Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Powell's Books and other major bookstores in print and e-books.
 To learn more about the book, read an excerpt, and reviews, please  click here...   

Dear friends,
Please join ASHA International and Project Hope Exchange, and share your 30-second message of hope. Give Hope. Give Life. Learn more...


In This Issue
A broken mind isn't a broken person
Project Hope Exchange
Real People, Real Recovery
Upcoming Events
A Guidebook for Happiness
About Us
Real People, Real Recovery
Profiles of Courage, Hope & Resilience

Hakeem Rahim


Hakeem Rahim Focus on Health Feature 
Hakeem Rahim Focus on Health Feature
I recently  had the privilege of meeting Hakeem in White Plains, NY, and was absolutely inspired by his journey to wellness. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University, Hakeem has transformed his struggles with bipolar disorder to promote mental health awareness, and bring hope and healing to people struggling with mental health issues across the U.S. Learn more... 
Upcoming Events:  

October 3, 2014
Random House India will publish Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within by Gayathri Ramprasad

October 8, 2014

Grit & Grace: The Science & Art of Personal Transformation 

Wellness Workshop & Book Signing by Gayathri Ramprasad

University of Minnesota, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455


October 9, 2014, 7 PM  

Come Celebrate Recovery:  A Celebration of Women & Recovery 

Fitzgerald Theater, 10 East Exchange Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 


October 29, 2014

Keynote & Book Signing by Gayathri Ramprasad

Sheppard Pratt Health System - Baltimore, MD


November 3, 2014  

Grit & Grace: The Science & Art of Personal Transformation 

Wellness Workshop & Book Signing by Gayathri Ramprasad

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, 221 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL 60601


December 6, 2014

Grit & Grace: The Science & Art of Personal Transformation 

Wellness Workshop & Book Signing by Gayathri Ramprasad

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, 5001 Coconut Road, Bonita Springs, FL 34134


A Guidebook for Happiness

In SPONTANEOUS HAPPINESS, Dr. Andrew Weil redefines the notion of happiness and demonstrates the limitations of the biomedical model of mental health. He presents a vast, scientifically proven array of integrative treatment strategies for low mood and depression, drawing on techniques from Ayurveda, Buddhism, acupuncture, psychotherapy, mindfulness training, and much more. Read more...
About Us:
ASHA International's mission is to promote personal, organizational, and community wellness through culturally-responsive mental health education, training, and support.

You can make a difference!


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.   

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!