ASUCI Reclaim Mental Health Conference

Saturday, May 15th, and Sunday, May 16th, from 10 am to 1 pm

Recordings are now available for all events! See below.

View our conference program here

At a Glance

Saturday, May 15th

Keynote Speech – 10 to 11 am

Workshop Session 1 – 11:10 to 11:40 am

Student Panel 1 – 11:50 am to 12:20 pm

Workshop Session 2 – 12:30 to 1 pm

Sunday, May 16th

Keynote Speech – 10 to 11 am

Workshop Session 3 – 11:10 to 11:40 am

Student Panel 2 – 11:50 am to 12:20 pm

Workshop Session 4 – 12:30 to 1 pm

Saturday, May 15th

Keynote: How to Harness Your Emotions for Purpose and Resilience

Jenny Woo

10:00-11:00 AM

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand our own emotions and the emotions of others, and to use that understanding to effectively guide our thought process and actions. Jenny shares her personal journey about how emotional intelligence has helped her find personal and career success as an immigrant and the first person in her family to graduate college. As an award-winning founder/CEO, researcher, and executive coach, she sheds light on the top socioemotional struggles and barriers that have deterred students and leaders alike from finding their purpose and resilience.

View the keynote here!

Workshop Session 1: 11:10-11:40 AM

Co-Healing from a Transformative Justice Lens

Gabes Torres

In your time together, Gabes will show how professionals who are educated and trained in the areas of trauma and healing can collectively address harm while also exposing and dismantling the policing and colonial influences that exist within our relationships and even within these helping professions. With courage and consent, this session invites you to participate in an anti-colonial approach to co-healing, where we may also learn and stumble together as we move towards a future of thriving community care and safety.

Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to record this presentation.

How Capitalism is Ruining Your Mental Health

Justin Huft

Feeling burnt out? Feeling like an imposter, no matter how much you accomplish? Feeling like you can’t bear the brunt of all unpaid emotional labor that’s required of you? You’re not alone. These are the well-documented effects of late-stage capitalism. In this workshop, we will unpack how capitalism encourages maladaptive coping skills and unhealthy patterns of legitimizing identities. Broadly, we will talk about the externalization of worth and value, neoliberal approaches to identity formation, emotional labor, and workplace/life balance. We will also explore ways to cultivate holistic and sustainable approaches to mental health.

This presentation was not recorded, as requested by the speaker.

Assertiveness in the Face of Racism for Filipino Americans

Dr. Abby Hamilton

Research shows that specific Filipino values keep us from being assertive. With emotions stirring in the light of recent news, how do we find our voice? Dr. Abby will discuss our Filipino values and assertiveness strategies for Filipino Americans. Dr. Abby is an industrial/organizational psychologist who speaks on assertive communication for Filipinos. More recently, she has been speaking on assertiveness in the face of racism as well as assertiveness in the workplace. Dr. Abby’s research on 473 Filipino Americans in 35 states in the US revealed that Filipino values conflict with assertiveness. This research sparked Dr. Abby’s mission to help Filipino Americans learn their values and assertiveness.

The presentation was split into two: Part 1 (5 min); Part 2 (30 min)

Student Panel: UCI COACH – A Model of Peer to Peer Counseling

Maria Quezada and Leticia Manzano

11:50 AM – 12:20 PM

Join us in a discussion about UCI’s COACH program, a peer to peer counseling program that aims to help students that are stressed about academic, social, and/or personal goals by pairing them with a trained peer life coach. This is an excellent resource for UCI students in particular, but also is a model for other universities looking to utilize peer to peer counseling as a way to address increasing demand for mental health services on campus.

View the panel here!

Workshop Session 2: 12:30-1:00 PM

Prepared to Pivot

Yasmin Naaman

A discussion about navigating the world of mental health and entrepreneurship as a young, black woman clinician, particularly during “these unprecedented times.”

View the workshop here!

Social Environments for “Queer” Empowerment

Andre Casas

Through a general overview of the unique drivers of health disparities that exist for LGBTQIA2S+ people, this workshop will examine the mental health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, aromantic, asexual, and two-spirit   (LGBTQIA2S+) college students. Workshop participants will develop a critical understanding of how psychology has approached the study of and response to sociocultural and political issues that impact queer individuals and communities, including those that have contributed both positively and negatively to their health and wellness, coping, and resilience.

View the workshop here!

An Introduction to OC Mental Health Resources

Connect-OC Representative Blair Veraza

Join Blair from Connect-OC for a presentation on Orange County mental health resources available to you today! The presentation will cover how and where to look for resources, available no-cost/low-cost services, information on local mental health events and workshops, and more!

View the workshop here!

Sunday, May 16th

Keynote: Storytime – I Failed Publicly As An Asian-American and I’m Still Here

Joan Lee

10:00-11:00 AM

Our keynote speaker Joan Lee, author of How We Talk To Ourselves, activist, and mental illness survivalist (bipolar II with psychotic episodes) regales us with tales from growing up as an Asian-American in the Midwest, pursuing the quintessential ideal Asian-American life – rife with markers of prestige, security, and “honor”, and how an unexpected mental illness made her face her biggest fear, failing publicly as an Asian-American… She will also discuss the support systems and coping skills she has learned and now wields at will when the going gets tough.

View the keynote here!

Workshop Session 3: 11:10-11:40 AM

Digital Tools to Promote College Student Mental Health

Dr. Stephen Schueller

The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating a mental health crisis that may overwhelm an already challenged mental health delivery system. This is especially true among college students, where high needs and limited resources have created a significant supply-demand problem. Digital mental health programs have emerged as a low-cost, highly scalable solution to increase access to services, however finding effective and relevant programs is a major challenge.  Dr. Stephen Schueller will discuss lessons learned stemming from his research as well as his position as a leader in the area of digital mental health. He will discuss opportunities for digital mental health to addresses these challenges and necessary steps to move the field forward in consideration of college student mental health.

View the workshop here!

Desi Queer and Parent Perspectives on Mental Health

Desi Rainbow Parents and Allies – Aruna Rao, Manjula Balakrishnan, & Anupam Dev Goel


This workshop offers an intergenerational perspective about mental health challenges faced by LGBTQ+ South Asians and their parents, featuring members of Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies, a national organization dedicated to support, education and advocacy for South Asian American families with LGBTQ+ children of all ages. The focus will be on lived experience, resilience and the role of family acceptance in mental health outcomes for all in the family, along with an overview of the programs that Desi Rainbow offers to the community.

View the workshop here!

Emotional Viewing: Watching Our Reflection

Dr. Daphna Ram

In this workshop we will gain insight into our own social-emotional lives by discussing the personal successes and failures of popular characters from television and movies.

View the workshop here!

Student Panel: MHC – The Impacts of 2020-21 and Ways We’ve Been Coping

Alina Tu, Anmol Gill, Cristina Sanchez, Dorothy Nguyen, Eric Enriquez, Leilani Le, and Samantha Padua

11:50 AM – 12:20 PM

 . . . . .   

Come join some of our own ASUCI Mental Health Commission staffers in an honest discussion of this past year’s impacts on their mental health and ways that they have been coping during this year. Although we have all been impacted in slightly different ways, it helps to know that we are not alone in what we are feeling and to hear about ways of coping that may help us out as well.

View the panel here!

Workshop Session 4: 12:30-1:00 PM

Meditation for Health, Learning, and Social Change

Dr. Larisa Castillo

After a brief introduction to the benefits of meditation, participants will be led in a guided meditation practice.

View the workshop here!

What Do I Say? How to Support Loved Ones After Trauma

Dr. Alyson Zalta

It’s hard to know how to best support loved ones when they share that they have gone through a traumatic experience. Yet we know that social support is one of the most potent predictors of who goes on to experience distress after trauma. In this workshop, we’ll talk about what trauma is and the dos and don’ts about how to support friends and family when they disclose a traumatic event.

View the workshop here!

The Benefits of Self Care: How Proper Self-Care Techniques Can Assist in Preventing Burnout in Students and Mental Health Practitioners

Dr. Ebony Coleman and Donald Coleman


This presentation will primarily focus on talking about identifying, assessing, and managing burnout within students and mental healthcare workers. We will cover everything from stress, self-care management, anxiety/depression and much more. We will also talk about rates of burnout and overall mental/emotional wellness for people who do/don’t practice self-care and we will leave a brief 5-10 minute window open for anyone who may have questions.

View the workshop here!

Previous Conference Programs

2020 Mental Health Awareness Month
2019 Conference Program
2018 Conference Program
2017 Conference Program
2016 Conference Program
2015 Conference Program