South Asian Mental Health Alliance – Wellness Conference

Kiera Ishmael, Project Manager on June 02, 2014

The South Asian Mental Health Alliance (SAMHAA) is a non-profit society that was founded in 2011 by 12 community members. SAMHAA aims to “create awareness and acceptance of mental illness, provide links to support and resources, and to empower all affected by mental illness”.

On May 24 and 25, 2014 SAMHAA hosted their second South Asian Mental Health & Wellness Community Forum at Princess Margaret Secondary School in Surrey. The goal of the Forum was to “share knowledge of treatments, services, and preventative skills and techniques for mental health within the South Asian Community”. The Forum covered a range of mental health topics including anxiety, depression, substance use, myths & medications and mindfulness & meditation. Sessions were offered in both English and Punjabi, with some sessions in Hindi and Urdu).

Over 300 individuals from the community attended, including families, health care providers, and school professionals. A variety of community organizations were featured at resource tables at the Forum. Meredith and I attended on behalf of the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre and Health Literacy Team. We were able to speak to many families, health and school professionals about the cross cultural resources we have available through the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre.

It was incredible to have the opportunity to connect with this community and to see participants coming together around such an important issue that affects us all. Creating a safe space to talk about mental health challenges is an important first step in getting the support that is needed.

I am excited to learn about the mental health initiatives that SAMHAA creates next! 


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BC Children's Hospital

This is an agency of Provincial Health Services Authority, providing provincial tertiary mental health services to the citizens of British Columbia. Programs include: Adult Tertiary Psychiatry, Geriatric Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatric Services, Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health, as well as the Provincial Specialized Eating Disorders Program for children and youth located at the BC Children’s Hospital.

Provincial Health Services Authority

Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) is one of six health authorities – the other five health authorities serve geographic regions of BC.

Ministry of Health

British Columbia Ministry of Health

RBC Children's Mental Health Project

RBC Children’s Mental Health Project is RBC's cornerstone “health and wellness” pillar; RBC Children’s Mental Heath Project is a multi-year philanthropic commitment to support community-based and hospital programs that reduce stigma, provide early intervention and increase public awareness about children’s mental health issues.

BC Children's Hospital Foundation

Through a wide range of fundraising events and opportunities, The BC Children's Hospital Foundation is united with its donors by a single, simple passion - to improve the health and the lives of the young people who enter BC Children's Hospital every day.