Achieving Whole Health for Asian Americans: Balancing Body, Mind, and Spirit



Policymakers and researchers are discovering what Asian Pacific Islander communities have always known, that you cannot separate the mind, body and spirit. Data now shows a direct correlation between depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stress disorders, cancer and other health problems and that failure to address underlying mental health conditions can have adverse effect on a person’s overall health. Recent studies have found that individuals with serious mental health conditions die 25 years earlier than the general population (NASHMPD, 2006).

The training track, Achieving Whole Health: Balancing Body, Mind and Spirit, recognizes the important relationship between mental health and physical health, and seeks to train Asian Pacific Islanders to become Wellness Coaches who can fill an important gap in services. Wellness Coaches work with community members, who are often isolated due to cultural and language barriers, to take an active role in improving their health by reducing stress, improving diet and exercise, learning important self-care skills, and building personal resiliency by addressing not only physical needs, but also the needs of one’s mind and spirit. The Whole Health sessions can be delivered by Wellness Coaches through group sessions and one-on-one peer support that help individuals prioritize and focus on achieving their health goals.

Training mental health consumers, along with professionals and bilingual paraprofessionals, adds an additional depth to the treatment team by engaging individuals who can draw upon their lived experience to help others recognize their symptoms before they reach a crisis, role model strength-based approaches and most importantly, know that recovery is possible. 


Organizations may propose a team of a minimum of 3 and maximum 5 members. Strong preference will be given to AAPI organizations that can provide an organizational leader (manager or supervisor), as well as consumer peer advocate(s), bilingual paraprofessionals, and/or bilingual clinicians working on integrated care teams.


  • Participants will learn the 10 life elements and how to balance body, mind and spirit life domains for whole health.
  • Participants will learn how to coach others through these life elements for better personal understanding.
  • Participants will learn the Person Centered Planning Process to help others develop Whole Health Action Plans.
  • Participants will learn how to support others in pursuit of whole health goals through weekly groups, personal logs and one-on-one coaching.

Questions to consider before applying for Achieving Whole Health

  • Is your organization working to integrate behavioral health with primary health?
  • Are your programs working to become wellness- and recovery-oriented?
  • Do you currently employ or are you interested in employing consumers in recovery?  Peer specialist?
  • Do you employ or would you employ bilingual paraprofessionals?
  • Is your organization interested is running wellness groups for consumers?

Criteria for selection of participants

Strong preference will be given to AAPI serving organizations and their staff and consumers who are working to integrate behavioral health with physical health in pursuit of a recovery-oriented, whole health treatment approach.


Janet SooHoo, MSW, Training Director, National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
DJ Ida, PhD, Executive Director, National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association
Can Truong, Consumer Coordinator, National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association

Pre-work and Post-training webinar dates

Pre-work webinar: Thursday, April 18, 2013 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm ET

Post-training webinars:

  • Tuesday, May 28, 2013 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2013 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
  • Tuesday, July 30, 2013 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET
  • Tuesday, August 27, 2013 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm ET

Apply now!

Applications to this track are closed. Current participants:

Read more about  NNEDLearn.