Achieving Whole Health for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders | 2015


Policymakers and researchers are discovering what Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) 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 effects on a person’s overall health. Studies have found that individuals with serious mental health conditions die 25 years earlier than the general population.

The training track Achieving Whole Health: Balancing Body, Mind and Spirit for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AWH) recognizes the important relationship between mental health and physical health, and seeks to train AANHPIs 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 help them 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.

Who can participate?

Organizations may propose a team of three to five members. Strong preference will be given to AANHPI-serving 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.

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 specialists?
  • Do you employ or would you employ bilingual paraprofessionals?
  • Is your organization interested is running wellness groups for consumers?

What is required of participants?

Recognizing that it takes more than a 2-day training to implement new practices or programs, SAMHSA requests that participating NNED Partner teams commit to the full NNEDLearn 2015 training model which includes: Prepare; Learn; Implement; and Sustain. Read more about NNEDLearn 2015. Objectives and expectations for each NNEDLearn stage for AWH are as follows:


The first stage of NNEDLearn involves preparing the NNED Partner team for the Learn stage (on-site training), and requires that team members:

  • Participate in an introductory webinar.
  • Complete reading assignments.


From April 12-15, teams will attend a 2½ day training at the Tamaya Hyatt in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM. Participants will learn:

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


After the Learn stage (on-site training), all AWH teams join together in a “community of practice” that receives ongoing coaching to help support uptake of the practice. Team members will:

  • Participate in 4 monthly webinars (dates to be posted on NNED website).
  • Participate regularly in the online discussion forum.


NNED Partner teams are expected to pursue efforts to sustain the practice and to demonstrate outcome and impact as appropriate. Teams will have the opportunity to: 

  • Provide input on training outcomes and the impact of NNEDLearn 2015.


DJ Ida, PhD, Executive Director, National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association

Important Dates

  • Application Deadline: February 24, 2015
  • Prepare Webinar: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 4:00 pm -- 5:00 pm ET
  • Learn Stage (On-site Training): April 12 - April 15, 2015 (Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico)
  • Implement Webinars in:
    • May 2015
    • June 2015
    • July 2015
    • August 2015

Information for all webinars is posted on the Discussion Forum under the "Meeting and Logistics" thread.

Discussion Forum

Access the Achieving Whole Health Discussion Forum.