Bringing Mental Health Out of the Dark: Part 1

Changing Tides Planning Committee

On a typical sunny Southern California Sunday, 150 well-dressed men and women of various ages and backgrounds gathered at the gorgeous estate of Carolyn Elliott overlooking the sea in Palos Verdes. They were invited by Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) to an exclusive afternoon of art, music, gourmet food, and food for thought.

A picture of perfection: beautiful location, beautiful food, beautiful people.

The purpose of this May event during Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, however, was by no means intended to celebrate perfection. In fact, the goal was quite the opposite: Shedding light on mental health issues in Asian American communities — a topic that is often swept under the rug and seldom openly discussed or addressed.

Two Asian American young adults bravely presented personal stories about their experiences in dealing with mental health in hopes of helping others dealing with similar issues.

Alan Hino’s Story: From Despair to Hope

A tall young man with a friendly smile, Alan Hino, 31, introduces himself as “a typical Japanese American.”

“Growing up, I knew about putting the family first, and never bringing shame to the family.”